Port Authority to Host Public Art Photo Project

“Inside Out: NY Together,” which will feature large-scale black-and-white portraits of people who walk by the transit hub, focuses on community.

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As a New York City commuter hub, the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan is known for many things. Being an art gallery has not always been one of them — even though it has housed works of art.

But a new public art installation at the Port Authority, “Inside Out: NY Together,” will turn one long exterior wall — a 40-foot-tall and 600-foot-long stretch, along West 40th Street — into a gallery, starting Oct. 3.

The photography project, which aims to showcase everyday New Yorkers and visitors as the city reopens, will feature black-and-white portraits of 1,200 people who pass through the area.

“This is who we are,” Barbara A. Blair, the president of the Garment District Alliance, which is leading the project in cooperation with the Port Authority, said in an interview.

“It’s important to make a statement,” she said, noting the diversity and resiliency of the city. “The city is a city because we’re all in it together.”

In just minutes, passers-by who choose to participate in the project can become art, as the wall turns into a gallery. A photo-booth truck will be set up on West 40th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, and the portraits will be printed on-site and pasted to the wall.

Blair said, “This exhibit personifies how it’s all these people together, whatever they’re doing — if they’re cleaning the streets, an artist with an exhibit or a doctor at a hospital — that’s what makes a community.”

The project is part of an initiative, “Inside Out,” created by the French artist JR, which has had platforms all over the world.

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