Bernie Wilke

Resident Artist
Community Murals, Stop-Motion Films

My work as a visual artist centers around large-scale community murals, teaching, and studio artwork. A desire to work with communities to bring inspiring art into shared spaces has been the driving force in my career. After receiving my M.F.A. in 2001, I became a Community Muralist and Teaching Artist instead of pursuing a career in academia. I have since completed 80 public murals in schools, downtown streets, community centers, and other places. My vision is to continue to utilize the power of art to strengthen communities and cultivate personal and societal wellness through beauty and collaboration.

Sharing my passion for art has led me to be an active teacher. Along with grade schools and colleges, I’ve prioritized teaching in therapeutic settings such as youth homes and prisons. My artist residencies involve leading students in permanent curriculum-based murals, where the students do most of the work from design to completion.  Students creatively explore with a wide range of materials — including video and movement — to help synthesize what they are learning. These explorations provide a flow of ideas that are useful for developing our mural.

I also pursue my individual studio work — a body of paintings and mixed media works (called Innerscapes) that show life, color, and energy inside traumatized physical bodies. My studio work has been featured in over 30 juried exhibitions.


Resident Arist Bernie Wilke
Bernie Wilke mural
Resident Artist Bernie Wilke