Berwyn Mural Project
The Berwyn Mural project is a community-driven public art project. The goal was to create a painted and mosaic work of art in and around the pedestrian foot tunnel underneath the Metra tracks at Berwyn and Ravenswood Avenues. The tunnel not only connects the Bowmanville and West Andersonville neighborhoods but also serves as a primary access route to Andersonville, the lake and the Berwyn Red Line for bikers and pedestrians. The tunnel is adjacent to the West Andersonville nature path and the Bowmanville Gateway vegetable gardens.
The design concept is that of an urban garden and the four seasons. All of the artists who have volunteered for the public art piece live in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Bowmanville and Rogers Park Montessori School Fall Festival and a subsequent tile workshop in the vegetable gardens were opportunities for greater community involvement in the creation of the artwork. Participants were encouraged to create and paint their own tiles, which have since been installed on the entryways. Many families and individuals also assisted by painting the interior mural inside the tunnel during the festival.
A budget was established to cover materials and a professional lead for design & installation of the mosaic portion of the mural. Both the BCO and WANT organizations have contributed financially, and a large portion of what is needed was raised at the BCO/RPMS Fall Festival on October 16, 2010 and in a subsequent tile workshop on October 27, 2010 . Many artists donated their time and talent, and the city paid for and completed all of the site prep for us.
2010 BCO President Claire Shingler worked hand in hand with local artists Sarah Laing and Amy Zoeller to develop the plan for this fantastic project. The idea grew out of frustration with ongoing graffiti in the tunnel and a lack of public art in the neighborhood. Many artists and volunteers joined the effort along the way. Prep of the tunnel began the last week of September, 2010. The majority of the work was completed in the following six weeks. The east entryway mosaic installation and then a dedication took place in Spring 2011.
There are STILL easy ways to still help us out:
1) Keep your eyes on that tunnel! If you notice graffiti, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can remove it. And if you see anyone interfering with or damaging the mural, please call 911 right away to report it. Thank you!
2) A BCO Arts Thank You campaign was held in Fall 2016 to say a great big thank you to Amundsen High School’s Art Department, who came out with 2 art teachers and TWENTY students to assist with a restoration of the mural after several years of graffiti damage. See page 4 of the Summer 2016 Bee Newsletter for more info on the restoration that took place. $1520 was donated to Amundsen’s Art Department. Many thanks to neighbors Donna Martin, Stacy Shintani and Paula Palmentera for organizing the 2016 restoration.