Art Anchors on Penn Street

Learn Something New Everyday and Then Teach Others

Downtown Reading is all dressed up with fresh inviting art in the 300 and 600 blocks of Penn Street. Two artists were chosen to install a sculpture in the 600 block of Penn Street and Edward Williams is the muralist chosen from 40 applicants to design, execute and display his art in the 300 block of Penn Street. Jane Runyeon served as the art liaison to the city during a 2 year process to award the NEA grant. Jane says Edward’s ability, knowledge and depiction of a train, one of the symbols of our city, were all contributing factors to selecting him for this mural project

Edward talks about the ‘art’ of creating large mural art from a design drafted in a studio. Edward bid on 3 or 4 different locations for his art and is happy that this location was chosen because the architectural bump-out on the wall lends itself to depicting a trestle bridge. Jane adds the aspect of urban renewal was incorporated, “The wall was in terrible shape and was re-stored in order that a mural might be painted on it”.

Edward is motivated to paint large. While working on this particular mural he was further motivated by people walking by and giving him a thumbs up or saying “Great job!”. Edward says it’s been his experience that when people start seeing visual things going up it motivates others on the block to dress up their space as well.

Thanks Edward for installing “Steam Engine” mural at 334 Penn Street! Check it out next time you are in downtown Reading. And you can check out more of Edward Willimas’ work at

Learn more about What's the Story? with Jo Painter.

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