Artist bringing new life to blighted buildings before their demolition

York

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Graffiti can get a bad rep because it’s not typically welcomed, but recently, York City officials made an exception to the rule.

There’s not much at the intersection of South Queen and East College streets, but the residents there pass through often.

A construction site, small corner market, and an empty lot, but on the northwest corner is a blighted building. 

“I just go off the top of my head, and go look at the building and see what I envision for that area,” said Jeremy “Jay Rock” Wibel, a street artist. 

With rotted bay windows and brick covered in vines, one York resident has a unique task, using paint and a creative eye. Jeremy Wibel uses blighted buildings, scheduled for demolition, as his canvas. 

“You got thorns, and then it goes up into the rose,” said Wibel. 

A giant white rose to cover the eyesore underneath. Thanks to Wibel, many more buildings with tattered walls will find one last use. 

“I tried to brighten people’s day, you know what I mean? If they smile a little, give them some positive energy to go throughout their day, that’s all that matters,” said Wibel. 

Wibel says it’s all just an effort to make people feel food when they walk down their street. 

“They got stats that show the energy goes up and people’s pride in the community goes up when you got more artwork around instead of condemned buildings,” said Wibel. 

The art will stay as long as the building does. Timelines are always different; some will come down within weeks, others, in a matter of months.

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