NORWALK, Conn. – The tunnel under the South Norwalk train station is being painted this week, but that is just the beginning of its facelift.
Artist Duvian Montoya began painting the tunnel Tuesday and will continue Wednesday. Next week he will install "Silhouetted Faces and Period Pieces," an exhibit of silhouetted figures that reflect the history of South Norwalk through fashion. It's the second of two permanent art installations at the South Norwalk train station sponsored by the Norwalk Parking Authority and the Norwalk Transit District.
"The concept comes from trying to depict an era, Norwalk's fashion," said Montoya, a Fairfield resident who grew up in Norwalk. "The reason I kept the figures faceless was to have people focus on the fashion. That's sort of what puts the person in the time, visually, anyway. As an artist, that is how I see the world. Going through the history books of Norwalk and looking back on my own life here, it's clothing that really puts everything in perspective."
The figures have a distinctly modern element: QR codes. People who scan them with their smartphones will be rewarded with information.
"It will give you a little history of the figure and what they did, say in the time of the 1930s and the '40s, when the murals in the town were created," Montoya said. "Fifteen out of 50 figures are going to have these QR codes that will give a little history of Norwalk, the richness that we have here."
The first art project was installed in December in the eastbound-side lobby of the station. There, the team of David Boyajian of New Fairfield, Matt Rink of Redding and Vincent Appel of New York City crafted a series of sculptures that depict sites, history and culture of Norwalk, including an oyster boat, lighthouse, hat and hatbox. Funding for the two projects was made possible through a grant provided by the Federal Transportation Enhancement Public Art Program.
"The space makes for a great gallery and this exhibit, part of the Norwalk Parking Authority's 'Art in Parking Places' program, is an exciting way to bring art to life for the community," Kathryn Hebert, director for the Parking Authority, said in a statement.