Jul 12

Interview with Charles Lanier of Strawberry Mansion

Three murals along the Ride Ave corridor in Strawberry Mansion beautified the area and gave residents the opportunity to enjoy murals every day along the well-traveled thoroughfare. We interviewed former resident Charles Lanier about the experience of bringing these murals to his neighborhood, including one on the side of his childhood home.

North Philadelphia, Quilt a Pattern for Generations © 2020 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Destiny Palmer, 3110 Ridge Avenue. Photo by Steve Weinik.

How did it feel to see the series of murals in your old stomping grounds?  

It felt great to see this project happen in Strawberry Mansion. Often times we get a bad rap for all of the negative activity that takes place by a few individuals. Strawberry Mansion is a good neighborhood, a strong neighborhood, with a rich history of art and culture. To see the display of art is an example of the culture of the neighborhood as a positive, that all can appreciate, in particular, our youth.

Street Knowledge © 2020 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Gabe Tiberino, 2125 Stanley Street. Photo by Steve Weinik.

You grew up in Strawberry Mansion, why do you feel the community there needs public art? 

As stated, we see and read about the negative activities in the community. Art gives us hope, it inspires, it educates, it gives us a sense of history. We need all of the above. I’m hoping that the art would inspire people to keep our community safe and clean, so that others outside of the community can come and enjoy and see positive images.

What has been the reaction from the community? 

Feedback from the community has been positive. It gives them a sense of pride to be chosen as destination point to exhibit art. I want to see more art in Strawberry Mansion.

Tell us about a piece in the series that evoked a strong or unexpected reaction from you. 

Of course, the art on the side my families home. I’m very big on education and anything that inspire people to read/learn/pursue a career, I’m on board. The work speaks to you, “Education Is The Key to Success”!!!

Last updated: Jul 12, 2021

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