My main priority as an artist has been working with schools and communities on mural projects that bring a lasting, positive impact.
Since receiving my M.F.A. in Studio Art in 2001, I have completed over 70 community mural projects in schools, downtown streets, community centers, nursing homes, and churches. Youth and adults come together to generate ideas, design, paint, and celebrate these murals, which foster community pride and unity while providing enduring beauty.
My artist residencies typically begin by working with teachers to design creative projects that reinforce the curriculum. Students creatively explore with pencils, paint, colored paper, magazine images, technology, clay, music and dance to help synthesize what they are learning. These explorations provide a flow of ideas that are useful for developing our mural (we can also work with tile mosaics and/or video).
bwilke.art (at) live (dot) com
Shaler Area High School students worked with Bernie Wilke to create this large mural to celebrate the sesquicentennial (150th) birthday of the Borough of Etna. Featuring silhouettes of students, and images of local history, the mural was installed on a warehouse in downtown Etna, but sadly was partially damaged in a building fire in 2019. Read more about the mural's creation and the community partners who helped fund the project in this article in the Tribune Review.