BERWYN – The Berwyn Public Art Initiative is moving forward with a large-scale public improvement project in Berwyn’s Depot District that calls for the planned installation of up to 19 free-standing murals and public art sculptures along the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railway.
“We have high hopes that more than half of these murals will be executed by local artists,” BPAI President Norman Alexandroff said.
BPAI began work in Berwyn’s Depot District connecting business owners with international and local artists during the summer of 2018 with the overall goal of spurring economic growth and neighborhood pride.
“This next phase of art installations will beautify the community for generations to come and offer even more opportunities for local artists,” Alexandroff said. “We look forward to seeing how enthusiasm for the arts will help transform the look and feel of the district. We’ve already received feedback from business owners that they have seen an impact in their businesses because of the murals on their buildings.”
Berwyn last year received approval from the West Suburban Mass Transit Agency to use $25,000 in station improvement grant funds for the purpose of public landscaping and art installations along the BNSF lines.
The BPAI was chosen by the city to facilitate the installation and management of the large-scale public improvement project.
The final step in qualifying for the use of the complete grant is raising $12,500 through community contributions to ensure that the project is a community-driven effort. With a deadline in early spring, the BPAI launched a public effort and fundraising campaign in January.
BPAI will post a public request for proposal for this specific project to give artists and sculptors access to the specialized requirements and to ensure transparency of compensation. Artists looking to be included in the specific project along the BNSF rail lines should submit responses to the RFP via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check the Berwyn Public Art Initiative website at berwynpublicartinitiative.org for updates.
In addition to improvements along the BNSF line, BPAI is committed to transforming the Depot District with murals on local businesses and residences.
The first building mural installation of 2019 is scheduled to take place as soon as the weather is appropriate and will be located on the Reel Art building at 6726 Stanley Ave.