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"Garden in Transit" Transforms New York Taxis

Public Art Project Turns Yellow Cabs Into Art


Garden in Transit Taxi

So what’s the story behind all of those yellow taxicabs with the pretty flowers painted on them?

A) The Fashion Week gods have decreed that floral is the new yellow
B) There’s a new graffiti artist on the loose with an unnatural love of daisies
C) It’s all part of Garden in Transit, a new public art project

The correct answer is C, of course. In honor of the 100th anniversary of New York's first metered taxicab, the city's yellow cabs have become mobile canvases or a “Garden in Transit.”

More than 23,000 children and adults from schools, hospitals, and community programs across New York City volunteered their time to paint flowers on adhesive weatherproof panels that have been applied to the hoods, trunks and/or roofs of thousands of taxis.

Approximately 750,000 square feet of floral panels have been painted for the taxis, including 80,000 flowers The project launched in September and the artwork will be on display on city cabs through December.

“Garden in Transit” was originally conceived in 2000 by Ed Massey, the cofounder of Portraits of Hope, a nonprofit organization devoted to creative therapy programs for seriously ill and physically disabled children. Through their involvement with Garden in Transit, thousands of kids of all ages teamed up to paint the works of art that will be seen by millions on the streets of New York City.

For children in hospitals, the project was designed as creative therapy. Kids of all ages and medical and physical conditions had the opportunity to participate with family members, visitors, medical staffs, and volunteers. Specialized brushes and painting methods were incorporated so that everyone who wanted to could get involved -- including telescope paint brushes for artists with IVs or in wheelchairs, shoe brushes for children with injured upper limbs or who could not manipulate a brush in their hands, and flavored mouth brushes for those who painted with their mouths.

As Mayor Bloomberg said in his official statement, "They say that the best art moves you. Well, this art will really move you." The next time you flag down a flowered taxi cab, take a moment to think about the artists who made it happen.

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