Reading, PA…… In response to COVID-19 and supporting a strong, unified community, Berks Arts Council in partnership with the City of Reading, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, South Central Transit Authority and BARTA launched a new initiative, titled Art for Hope, Healing and Community Unity in the Public Realm. The initiative is commissioning local artists (amateur-professional) to produce artwork that respond to and are inspired by our community today. The project seeks to bridge social distance requirements with creating new ways of social connection.
Through a call for artist in the beginning of July, nearly 30 art works were submitted for consideration on the eight bus shelters located on Penn Street in Reading. All artists were from Reading and Berks County and showcased the strength, hope and diversity of our community.
The eight artists selected to have their art on display are Katherine Addison, Julia Cocuzza, Theron Cook, Nicolas Fay, Suzanne Fellows, Eric Leatherman, Jennifer Nitka and Alicia Tejeda.
Weather permitting, the artwork will be available for viewing on the Bus Shelters beginning the week of August 17th.
Dave Kilmer, Executive Director stated, “We are happy to partner with Berks Art Council on this worthwhile project that promotes art in the community and ultimately enhances the Downtown area.”
Aaron Gantz, Executive Director of Downtown Revitalization shared that “public art plays a critical role in economic and community development through beautification and connectivity, while creating new points of interest for residents + visitors alike. We hope this project will catalyze and empower future public art efforts in the City and downtown area.”
The mission of Berks Arts Council is to inspire, engage and unite our community through arts education, collaboration and presentation. Through the creation of the Outdoor Gallery, it is the impetus for additional public art to be installed downtown to bring our neighbors and friends together to walk, bike, drive and enjoy the art along their paths. The artwork will create open discussion, hope and healing for many during this challenging time and beyond. Berks Arts Council is thankful to all the artists who have submitted their art for consideration, South Central Transit Authority and BARTA for their willingness to showcase local artists and GRCA and Berks Alliance for their continued vision and support of the arts downtown.