West Reading Avenues Fall 2020 - 8

West Reading Peeps

Mural Artists
Thomas and
Jessica Alexander

I

f you travel through the city of Reading, you will find many
murals completed by husband and wife team, Thomas and
Jessica Alexander. Locations of some of the murals include
Buttonwood Street, Schuylkill Avenue, the Comcast building,
Penn St. Market, Reading Community Player's Theater, 3rd and
Walnut, under the 7th St. Bridge, and many more. There is also
a special oil on canvas mural installed on a balcony fa├žade, 18
feet above the ground spanning 65 feet, located inside Hope
Evangelical Lutheran Church at 601 N. Front St., Reading, PA.
It is one of the few church paintings located in Reading.
The Cherry St. Mural corridor, now known as "Dean's Way,"
was conceived by Mike Miller, muralist and art educator, and
Dean Rohrbach, the head of the West Reading Beautification
Committee. The corridor is meant to be an available community
outdoor art gallery and museum. Spanning over three blocks,
it showcases many artists locally and globally.

8

Avenues Fall 2020

Dean approached me about potentially painting the site at South
5th Avenue and Cherry Street in the fall of 2017. He wanted
something bright, loud and big, like a billboard advertising the
outdoor collection. As the most visible and high profile wall,
the mural is meant to draw the attention of the passersby of
the wonder that is the mural corridor. Therefore, Dean sought
attention grabbing and interest provoking work.
Being a local history aficionado, Dean suggested a theme
revolving around the short time frame when the Penn St. Viaduct
was actually a covered bridge. This little known fact existed
during the same time that the canal was functioning as an
import/export point for the city, circa 1850. I was not privy
to this knowledge so I set out to the Reading Public Library
and spent the day researching this period. The volumes of
"The Passing Scene" became my favorite trove of pertinent
information. Dean also loaned me a treasured print from his
personal collection depicting the covered bridge era which
inspired the final design of the mural.



West Reading Avenues Fall 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of West Reading Avenues Fall 2020

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West Reading Avenues Fall 2020 - Table of contents
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West Reading Avenues Fall 2020 - Cover3
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