The Collaborative Public Art Studio is a versatile art studio space that fosters community engagement and artistic collaboration across various demographics. We provide this workshop space as an open art studio for all ages to engage in community mural creation, artistic expression, therapeutic engagement and professional development and workshopping.
Over the past 20 years, artist Michael L. Miller has coordinated dozens of public art projects through local community organizations. As artist-in-residence at Albright College, he works with local volunteers, undergraduate art students, school-age students and educators in the Total Experience Learning programs. His shared goal is to enhance the lives and communities of educators and learners through collaborative work on mural projects and the visual arts.
Miller uses his creativity and love of art and community to explore large pictographic representations of an individual’s life, a personal story or a nature scene. His murals can be found throughout the Greater Reading area.
His process, in harmony with TExpL methodology, begins with a single point of connection and spider webs as it grows into a full story. The art is about finding commonalities in people, places and things and weaving them throughout the mural and the endeavor. This experience involves the participation of community members — individuals can paint, hang the art or participate in the celebration of the story.
Visit Berks Community Murals for more information and signup options.
Recent collaborative mural projects created in our Collaborative Public Art Studio:
To celebrate Reading’s 275th birthday, this project collaborated with photographer John Pankratz and youth from the Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center. The artwork displays hundreds of portraits of Reading and Berks County citizens framed with screen prints of historic Reading imagery. This is a portable work of art that will be displayed in various locations.
Organized by Albright College’s Art Department and Alternative Spring Break Club, this mural was designed by Albright art students. Portions of the mural were painted by Reading School District fifth grade students in the Total Experience Learning Academy. Albright students and faculty traveled to Costa Rica and created three murals, involving the children of Costa Rica’s elementary schools in the process.
The Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club commissioned this mural. Reading School District fifth grade students in the TExpL Academy painted the mural with members of the club. The finished painting was displayed in Rentschler Arboretum.
Kimberton Whole Foods, a locally owned grocery store, opened a new location in Reading and commissioned a series of murals for both inside and outside their building. These murals were designed by artist Meghan McClennan and painted by hundreds of volunteers through a series of public workshops.
This mural was part of a series sponsored by SOS Berks, a coalition of county agencies interested in dispelling the stigma of addiction by sharing the stories of individuals in long-term recovery. This mural designed by local artist Leslie Ramos and was inspired by the story of Jose, whose love of family and Puerto Rican heritage was celebrated in the imagery. Nearly 1,000 volunteers painted this mural at a series of community painting events held throughout the city.
Crafted by hundreds of volunteers during a series of community painting workshops, this mural was part of a series sponsored by a coalition of county agencies interested in dispelling the stigma of addiction by sharing the stories of individuals in long-term recovery. This mural designed by local artist Marian Njai and was inspired by the story of Yvonne, who finds joy in nature and biking.
This experimental project was composed of a series of screen-printed posters designed by local artists that are installed in locations along the river trails that frequently are targets of vandalism. The imagery in the wheat-pasted posters was inspired by the lifeforms found along the waterways.