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A Collaborative Public Art Installation & Community Celebration in the Centre Park Historic District

Oct 17, 2017 • by Berks History Center
Berks History Center

The Berks History Center will be celebrating education through the arts with a Collaborative Public Art Installation & Community Celebration in the Centre Park Historic District on October 26, 2017 at 5:00PM at the Berks History Center, located at 940 Centre Ave. Reading, PA 19601.

The Berks History Center has partnered with award-winning mural artist Michael Miller, the Wyomissing Area High School, Reading High School, and the Berks Arts Council to design and create a permanent piece of artwork that will be installed on the walkways between the Berks History Center Museum and Research Library buildings.

The art installation, or “Art Walk,” will be painted directly on the sidewalks surrounding the Berks History Center using a series of repeating stencil patterns, which were designed and created by the students. Reflecting the Berks History Center’s role in preserving Berks County’s cultural heritage, the stencil designs are inspired by Berks County’s historical crafts and iconic images such as fraktur, the distelfink, quilt work, Berks County redware, and city landmarks. The installation also serves as a neighborhood beautification project that will enhance the Centre Park Historic District and the surrounding neighborhood. Mural artist Michael Miller, who is an art instructor at Wyomissing Area School District, is leading the project.

Miller explains, “Over the past several years, I have worked with various groups to create a number of beautification projects that work with stencils. We often think that images can only be made with paint and brush, but we can use stencils to create complex images on almost any surface. The project at the Berks History Center has allowed us to focus on the rich traditional crafts and patterns native to Berks County.”  

The students will volunteer their time to install the “Art Walk” at the Berks History Center on the following dates, weather permitting: October 17th, 19th, 24th, and 26th from 4pm to 7pm. 

The project will conclude with a Community Celebration on October 26th at 5:00PM where the Berks History Center will acknowledge the students’ work with a free public celebration and ceremonious reveal of the completed work. The Berks History Center will serve refreshments to those in attendance. Free entertainment, children’s activities, and tours of the museum will also be available. Along with the Berks History Center staff and trustees, guests may include city officials, neighbors, families, and members of the Centre Park Historic District.

This project is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Berks History received a grant from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts program administered locally by Berks Arts Council with additional support from The Wyomissing Foundation.

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