Telling Sketches of Strangers
As the A train gently rocked her, Carrie Progen would sit with a small pad in her lap and sketch hurried portraits of the commuters sitting and standing around her in silence. These fleeting moments were among life's truest, she told her boyfriend, Erik P. Sharkey, "the moments when New Yorkers were thinking the most."
In all, she filled four notebooks with sketches that seemed to reveal the thoughts of strangers. But they also reflected a young artist's passion for her adopted city, Mr. Sharkey said. "The one thing, if you could, is to say how much she loved New York."
Ms. Progen, 25, came from Ashburnham, Mass., where she celebrated her high school graduation by getting a Celtic-style tattoo. "The correct terminology for Carrie is free- spirited," recalled her mother, Kathleen.
Ms. Progen, who lived with Mr. Sharkey in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, was an administrative assistant at the Aon Corporation. But her passion was her art, including illustrations she had just completed for a children's book about "two parents trying to find their little girl who's hiding from them," he said.
An exhibit of her artwork ‹ including her subway sketches ‹ is to be held at 8 p.m. on Nov. 17 in Manhattan at Anderson's Martial Arts Academy, 35 West 31st Street.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 24, 2001.