For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator, (510) 981-7533

Come celebrate art and community on Saturday, September 27

Berkeley, California (Monday, September 22, 2008) - The public is invited to the Celebration for the Public Art at the West Berkeley Train Stop, located under the overpass at University Ave and Fourth Street. The program will be on Saturday, September 27, 2008 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm on site. Artist John Wehrle painted large Indian Dancers and a Mural in collaboration with poet Betsy Davids and her poems of Welcoming and Departure.

There will be an opening by the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Indian Dancers followed by Mayor Tom Bates, the artist John Wehrle and poet Betsy David. Three figures from the mural will be honored at the event including Wavy Gravy who will be on hand to join the festivities.  The Public Art installation commemorates the historic Native American settlements and shell mound of the area, creating an inviting “outdoor room” envisioned by the community and frequent users of bus and rail transit here. Ms David’s poems are written above the columns and are seen by all coming and going on the train. The murals are complimented by interpretive panels illustrative of Ohlone settlement patterns around the bay and contemporary park resources provided by the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD).

This occasion also marks the grand opening of the Train Stop’s eight electronic bike lockers, installed with the support Alameda County Transportation Authority (ACTIA) Measure B funds.

The West Berkeley Rail Stop and Transit Plaza is located at the foot of University Avenue.  Here a landscaped civic space with art was created in an area that for years was  unpleasant and unattractive open space  beneath the University Avenue overpass. New physical improvements have included widened sidewalks, street paving, new plantings and site furniture, information kiosks, maps, automatic ticket dispensers, and a steel and glass canopy for shelter from the elements.

The Public Art and Poetry was funded by the City of Berkeley 1.5% for Public Art Program that is managed through the Berkeley Redevelopment Agency in cooperation with  the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission, The Federal Highway Administration, Capitol Corridor JPA and Caltrans supported the Agency investment in the Train Stop’s hardscape improvements, completed in January 2006. 

For additional information about the West Berkeley Rail Stop and Transit Plaza Public Art celebration please visit the City of Berkeley’s Civic Arts web page or contact Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator at (510) 981-7533. The artist website for the art is found at   For more information on the Berkeley Rail Stop and Agency improvements see or contact Amber Evans, Redevelopment Coordinator at (510) 981-7418