Luka Lakuriqi, president of Mayfair Community Development Center, said it is his job to interpret the neighborhood.
For Luka Lakuriqi, to not carry around his pouch of art supplies and his notebook is a form of punishment. He wanders the streets of Mayfair, the first place his family moved after they left Albania when he was a kid.
As he walks, he picks up his pen and starts doodling landmarks of the area, such as the Mayfair Diner or Mayfair’s row homes.
His unique hand-drawn style is quickly becoming well known and representative of the area. He has created a line of postcards featuring his artwork of Mayfair-centric areas.
“I want to boost the self-esteem of the area, and give it a sense of pride,” he said.
Lakuriqi graduated from the Citizens Planning Institute in 2015, and one of his projects required him to create something that would enhance the community. That’s when he got the idea to merge his love of drawing with his passion of helping develop communities. Lakuriqi has served as executive director of the Mayfair Community Development Corporation for a year.
“As CDC director, it is my job to interpret the neighborhood,” he said. He said he is striving to brand the neighborhood.
The full line of postcards, which will include drawings of a “mental map” of Mayfair and popular storefronts, will be available on the CDC’s updated site, MayfairCDC.org.
Lakuriqi said the site would be launched soon.
All money the postcards raise goes directly to the CDC.
In the meantime, they’re available at Giggles Gifts, Torresdale Flower Shop, Stein Florist and Pat’s Music Center.
He has also designed tote bags featuring illustrations of the Mayfair Night Market, another endeavor of Lakuriqi’s. He said the popularity of the market has skyrocketed recently.
“The night markets help you really understand what the neighborhood is and who its residents are,” he said, absentmindedly doodling sketches of houses while he spoke. “It represents all classes and people.”
Lakuriqi said drawing areas around the neighborhood is his way of understanding it. The focus it requires inspires him to consider details about buildings, signs and anything else in the community.
He was 11 when his family moved to the area, and said he fell in love with the area’s small town feel in the middle of the city.
“It’s the first place we felt like home,” he said. ••