West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 26

Art Scene

Community
as Art Space:

West Reading
Museum of
Temporary Art
By Denise Drobnick

M

y neighbor, Wyomissing
School District art teacher
and community art visionary Mike Miller, invited me for a small
open house before the West Reading
tree lighting. He began to tell fellow
neighbor, Judy Ballinger of the Art Plus
Gallery, and me about an exciting new
West Reading art project he was planning - something about temporary art?
More friends arrived and the conversation shifted to other topics. Hold that
thought...
About a month later I was sitting with
Mike at Benchwarmers Coffee Shop
getting the details on the West Reading
Museum of Temporary Art (WRMOTA),
which is coming to our town this spring.
Inspired by temporary art "takeovers" in
larger cities such as Miami's Art Basel
Takeover and the Venice Biennale, it
will be an extension of Mike's vision:
"community as art space." He approached
Dean Rohrbach, program manager at
the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation, several years ago
with this idea of "microscale" art - small,
hidden artwork designed to be discovered throughout the borough - but with
the Elm Street Program mural project
24

Avenues Spring 2018

in full swing, they decided to wait until
the murals were mostly completed to
embark on this new project. Just as
museums have permanent collections
and also exhibits that visit temporarily,
West Reading will now have a temporary
component to compliment the permanent mural collection.
Planning began last summer, when
Mike created a team with former student
Justin Seibert, and partner Kayla Mattes.
Justin and Kayla met at the Rhode Island
School of Design and have been collaborating on art and design projects under
the name BESTTEST. They are currently
based in Santa Barbara, CA, where Justin
is a freelance programmer and Kayla is
an MFA candidate at UC Santa Barbara.
While each mural tended to have one
lead artist directing the project, Mike
feels working as a trio is ideal for the
WRMOTA, which is largely evolving
as it goes along. Monthly Facetime
meetings allow the team to hash out
the artistic and technical details from
three perspectives. Justin developed a
website for the project - check it out at
https://wrmota.org.

So how will it work?
Step 1: Mike, along with local

artist Pam Roule and students in
Mike's Public Art Workshop at Wyomissing High School, are recruiting
75-100 people with a brick home or
business within 5 feet of public space
and a story to tell. The stories can be
about a meaningful event, memory,
or object and will be audio-recorded.

Step 2: The stories (and

photos if applicable) will be curated - meaning paired with a volunteer
artist - who will paint a depiction
of the story on a single brick face
and send it to Mike by the end of
March. The team is calling on its
personal art connections from all
over the world - Spain, Japan, South
Africa, Australia, etc. - and in the US,
to create the brick art. Kayla is in
charge of curating the participating
artists outside of West Reading, while
Mike is focused on the local artists.

Step 3: The brick faces will be

affixed to the homes or businesses
using wheat paste as an adhesive.


https://www.wrmota.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of West Reading Avenues Spring 2018

West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 1
West Reading Avenues Spring 2018 - 2
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