West Reading Avenues Fall 2017 - 21

West Reading Resident, Muralist
Honored on His 50th Birthday
W
est Reading resident, art
teacher and muralist, Mike
Miller, turned 50 on July 10,
and West Reading turned out to honor
his contributions to public art during the
past ten years.

Friends and collaborators gathered at
Miller's home before embarking on a public
art walking tour. What Miller didn't know
in advance, however, was that members of
the community had secretly commissioned
a mural of him and his students painting
a mural to acknowledge his hard work.
Miller founded Berks Community Murals,
but his work has included both murals and
mosaics. Miller has been an art educator
and artist in residence for Wyomissing
Area School District since 1999. Before
that, he worked in Conrad Weiser and
Wilson School Districts in a similar capacity. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from
Maryland Institute, College of Art, and

holds a Mural Design Fellowship from
the National Academy of Design.

Miller also enjoys a reputation as the
premier muralist in Berks County and has
worked for Opportunity House, Reading
Health Systems, Olivet Boys and Girls Club,
Police Athletic League and the Goggleworks Community Arts program.

In addition to his many other projects
throughout Berks County, over the past six
years Miller has been working with West
Reading's Elm Street Program to create a
three-block mural corridor along Cherry
Street between Fourth and Seventh avenues. There are currently 19 works along
the corridor, with two more planned for
completion before the end of the year.
"The public art that West Reading Elm
Street commissions humanizes the built
environment and invigorates public spaces,"
Miller explained in a 2014 magazine in-

terview. "It encourages individual artistic
development, experimentation, and creates
a dialogue between artists and the public."
Miller involves his junior and senior art
students, both on site and in the classroom,
in the creation of public art. Additionally,
he sometimes sets up a table at the West
Reading Farmers' Market to involve the
general public as much as possible in the
process.
Dean L. Rohrbach, West Reading's Elm
Street Program Manager, said that Miller
educated him on the use of murals.
"Mike encouraged me to see what Philadelphia was doing with its arts program
and showed me that murals can be more
than just pictures of a town's glory days,"
Rohrbach said. "They can be art."

lovewestreading.org

19


http://www.lovewestreading.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of West Reading Avenues Fall 2017

West Reading Avenues Fall 2017 - 1
West Reading Avenues Fall 2017 - 2
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2020-2021
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