The culture of art in Berwyn is rich. Long before our famous Berwyn Spindle made it to the big screen in the 1992 comedy Wayne’s World, Berwyn’s artistic character was on full display with the Czech inspired architecture along Cermak Road, once known as Bohemian Wall Street, and our diverse housing styles. It wasn’t until The David Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion was established in 1986 that public art in Berwyn really began to make a place for itself. The art in Cermak Plaza was meant to encourage and advocate experimental visual art which draws its form, content and working materials from late twentieth-century technology. Cermak Plaza Public Art was a wild and creative piece of Berwyn nostalgia that paved the way to Berwyn’s deep roots in public art.
I Want to Enjoy Public Art
Whether you’re planning to post it on Instagram or not, there’s something special about public art. Berwyn is in the midst of a public art boom, and it’s beautiful. Along the train tracks, you can see the efforts of the Berwyn Public Art Initiative (BPAI) to bring murals and art installations to Berwyn. Dozens of art works make for a great walking tour of our Depot District. The BPAI has more projects, like pop up art projects and spaces, in the works.
Other murals to check out include a fun sombrero mural raising awareness of the annual Corrida del Mariachi 5K on the south side of the North Berwyn Park District’s cultural arts center.
At Heritage Middle School, you can see the “Gatekeepers" mural by young artists, local non-profit Youth Crossroads Inc., and muralist Sam Murillo. As you make your way north on Oak Park Avenue, enjoy the Youth Crossroads underpass beautification project. Young Berwynites came together with community leaders to add a splash of color to Oak Park Ave between 29th and 27th Street.
Once in North Berwyn, take a gander at the beautiful murals on display at each of the elementary schools from North Berwyn School District 98. The individual pieces collectively depict Berwyn’s rich diversity. Curious about the fire hydrants painted between Wenonah and East along Roosevelt Road? They’re the result of The Outta Space’s work with teens from Youth Crossroads and resident adult artists from Berwyn Art & Music called “Paint the Plugs".
Last, but most definitely not least, the Berwyn Public Library is the spot for two newly unveiled murals. Head to the second floor of the new children’s reading area to take a look.