Kensington: Artist Tries to Change Culture with Street Art

J. Thaddeus Lutz stood by some street art by his home.
Lutz sketched some new art ideas.
Lutz sketched some new art ideas.

From the rooftop deck of his Kensington home, J. Thaddeus Lutz sees the Center City skyline from a different perspective. For Lutz, living in an area of the city that is known for crime, the benefits of downtown seem distant.

A student at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, Lutz lives on the 500 block of Cambria Street. Residing in one of the largest drug areas in the city, he is using his art to try and change the culture of his neighborhood.

“I want to use street art to replace some of the negative energy around here with some positive,” said Lutz.

Abandoned buildings have become a forum for Lutz’s art. “I like to put clay sculptures of flowers and other designs on abandoned buildings,” said Lutz. “There are so many abandoneds around here. If I can grab someone’s attention with a sculpture, then maybe they can see the same potential I do.”

Sketches and fruit sculptures are also some of the forms of art that Lutz uses around his neighborhood. “The fruit is a great way of displaying art,” said Lutz. “I can make something beautiful that is also biodegradable.

“I want to be able to use my art for good,” said Lutz. “I want to brighten up the area that I love.”

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