Home Linked Philly artist with autism whose work sells for $25,000 has a Center...

Philly artist with autism whose work sells for $25,000 has a Center City show. A year ago, he was unknown.

 JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

For years, Lonnie Smith would gather the artwork made by his son, Kambel, and set up small shows at senior centers, libraries, and YMCAs across the Philadelphia region.

Lonnie knew his son had a gift, but he couldn’t get anybody else to see it.

“No one would come,” he said. “Zero.”

It crushed Kambel every time. And so, it crushed Lonnie, too.

To soften the blow, Lonnie would sit with his sons, Kambel, now 32, and Kantai, 24, both of whom have autism. Together, they would create stories about how people with autism — whom they called Autisarians — have superhuman abilities, not disabilities.

Lonnie would tell his sons that sometimes, it’s just hard for non-Autisarians to see that . . .

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Strong Black Lead: Classic Black Sitcoms, more come to Netflix

Over the weekend, Netflix kicked off its release of classic Black sitcoms, hailing mostly from the ‘90s and early ‘00s. “Moesha” came to the...

Madeline Swegle becomes the first Black female tactical air pilot

The history of naval aviation began over 100 years ago. And now, after a century of technological...

Colorism is a full-circle problem for “Indian Matchmaking”

“Indian Matchmaking” is one of Netflix’s latest dating-centered reality shows. However, with its ties to a historical, cultural tradition, the show is a bit...

Culturas Corner: Meet Gina Clayton-Tarvin

As part of our mission to uplift cultural diversity, we are kicking off Culturas Spotlight. The series highlights individuals who make their community a...


Forgotten Password?