Raynard Lucas

Raynard Lucas (Photo: Jonathan Brown)

Raynard Lucas (Photo: Jonathan Brown)

Lucas is a native of the Homewood area, growing up in adjoining neighborhood of Lincoln. He attended Westinghouse High School, where he was introduced to the Lighthouse Project, an afterschool program that allows students to explore their creative abilities through music, visual arts, fashion, and digital media. Because the project was originally housed at Westinghouse, Lucas had easy access to honing his passion.

However, his involvement was not the only source of his interest. He was always loved creating music, and, with his friend Robert Rose-Thompson, created the alternative rock band Ink in seventh grade. The two continued playing together throughout their time in Lighthouse, giving them even more of a platform to share their work. They have performed at notable Pittsburgh venues such as the REX Theater, the Andy Warhol Museum, and even the Google office in Bakery Square. Thanks to their dedication to their craft, Ink’s first EP 5Years is available on iTunes and streaming services now.

Lucas is especially thankful for the guidance he has received from members of the community — not only in their actions, but in their example. The leadership at the Lighthouse Project has pushed him to create with vigor, and has supported his efforts with their own time and energy. Additionally, they have inspired Lucas to give back; he is a volunteer for The Free Store in Wilkinsburg, a shop in the neighborhood next-door to Homewood that allows community members to pick up to five free items — mostly clothing — as needed.

Now that Lucas is attending Point Park University, he is as busy as ever. However, he has not lost his passion for creativity. He is studying animation and visual effects, and continues to play with Ink. His advice to younger artists is to “reach for the stars and break down the asteroids.”

With his ties to local initiatives and his love for artistry, perhaps he will become a mentor to local young people like those that inspired him.