Data + Design Project

New York Mosaics from Discarded MetroCards

Thursday 08.09.2012 , Posted by
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It’s the perfect example of the time worn phrase: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Ever since artist Nina Boesch stumbled upon the idea in 2001, she has been creating these Big Apple themed mosaics out of discarded plastic MetroCards. As an exchange student living in New Jersey, she found herself wanting to make an inexpensive gift for her host family, but the only thing she had available was her used MetroCards.

“So I made them a map of the United States,” she says. “My host family liked it so much, they kind of motivated me to go on.”

It’s a good thing she did, because now the 33-year old artist has made hundreds of the mosaics from over 30,000 cards – and has sold them for anywhere between $200 and $2500. Not bad for art made from materials you can simply pick up off the floor of the metro.

See Also A Masterpiece Made From 4,242 Rubik's Cubes

Boesch’s art has followed a distinct New York theme, featuring iconic locations, architecture and people known for their connection to the city. You can see more of her work on her personal site ninaboesch.com or at her mosaic specific site metrocardyourself.com.

From trash to art medium:

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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