Public Art

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.

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.

A special thank you from the Bowmanville and West Andersonville communities to all those contributing to the success of the Berwyn Mural Project!

Financial & In Kind Donors This project could not succeed without this financial support!

Financial Donors

Jackie Barron, Amy Bonanata, Bowmanville Community Organization, Shannon & David Brown, Costa Rica Experts, Glenn Grzonka, Little Linguists Academy (Angel Li), Laura Novy, Painted Light (Barbara Laing), Point Display & Design (Robert Swislow), Betty Redmond,  Claire & Todd Shingler, Jill & Jeff Siegel, IL State Senator Heather Steans and West Andersonville Neighbors Together.

In-Kind Donors

Amy Bonanata, David Goldberg, Ellen Jurczak, Sonata Kazimieraitiene, Sarah & Ian Laing, 40th Ward Alderman Patrick O’Connor, Open Studio Project (Sarah Laing), Anthony O’Reilly, Stained Glass Emporium, Robert Swislow, Thybony Paint and Wallcovering, 40th Ward Streets & Sanitation Department

Local Artists & Other Key Contributors

The talent and commitment of neighbors and outpouring of support is fabulous! Design Committee & local artists: Laura Coyle, Jennifer Fecker, Maria Gullo, Betsy Kane, Sonata Kazimieraitiene (Mosaic Leader), Katie Kurisch, Sarah Laing  (Project Leader) Laura Novy, Anthony O’Reilly, Colleen Ostrander, Laura Sabransky, Claire Shingler (BCO President), Julia Sowles-Barlow, Amy Zoeller (Paint Leader)

Neighbor Volunteers

Amy Bonanata, Mary Burke, Jo-Ann Finkelstein, David Goldberg, Ruth Kerzee, Billy Kuczek, Ian Laing, Scott Lair, Kathleen Moran, Danny Postel, Bea Pryst, Joe Pryst, Mary Jude Ramirez, Todd Shingler, Menghua Sun, Robert Swislow

Local Kids Volunteering

Eddie Buchko, Gabriella Goldberg-Finkelstein, Jonah Goldberg-Finkelstein, Anna Laing, Julian Laing, Sam Novy, Juan Elijah Postel, Mary Ramirez, Claire Riley, Stella Riley, Cate Shingler, Helena Shingler, Adele Snagel, Veronica Wong

Finally, a BIG thank you to the countless other neighbors and supporters of this project who came out to make more than 300 custom tiles that have been included in the mosaic entryways, and to paint the backdrop of the mural during the Bowmanville Fall Festival. Many of those were local kids.

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