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A portion of artist Cindy Lozito's artwork inspired by Queen and Rook Game Cafe. Artwork display Located at 7900 Germantown Avenue. Photo: Visit Philadelphia
A portion of artist Cindy Lozito's artwork inspired by Queen and Rook Game Cafe. Artwork display Located at 7900 Germantown Avenue. Photo: Visit Philadelphia

Love + Grit: An effort to boost Philadelphia business owners of color through art

The new program has displayed artwork in empty storefronts throughout the city.

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Love + Grit is a new project from the nonprofit Visit Philadelphia and hopes to boost business owners of color by displaying art in empty spaces.

These empty storefronts are a reminder of the toll the ongoing pandemic has had on the city’s economic environment.

The project has tackled their goal by unveiling 24 pieces of artwork across Philly this week. Each is inspired by POC-owned businesses. 

The artwork was workshopped by the Love + Grit project before reaching its current showcase on empty storefronts. 

Love + Grit’s showcased artwork was created by 12 LGBTQ+ artists of color. Each of the twelve were assigned to two businesses affected by the pandemic.

The project was created as part of Shop Black Business Friday, an initiative encouraging Philly residents to shop at Black-owned businesses.

The businesses that inspired displays from Love + Grit and the artists who created the respective pieces for the businesses listed were as follows:

  • Faheem’s Hands of Precision, Freedom Apothecary — Jonai Selix-Gibson
  • The Sable Collective, Duafe Holistic Hair Care — Tash Billington
  • Puyero Venezuelan Flavor, El Merkury — Manny Hernández
  • Grant Blvd., Black and Mobile — Illkya Acosta
  • Lil Pop Shop, Vault + Vine — Kathy Chung
  • P’s & Q’s, Yowie — Nazeer Sabree
  • Philadelphia Diamond Co., Cuba Libre  — Lauren Lopez
  • Franny Lou’s Porch, Girls Auto Clinic — Tiff Urquhart
  • The Modern Republic, The African American Museum in Philadelphia — Mz. Icar
  • Inked Village, Queen and Rook Game Café — Cindy Lozito
  • ILLExotics, Sabbatical Beauty — Fabiola Lara
  • South Philly Barbacoa, Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books — Derick Jones

 

Each display will remain throughout the holiday season with no obligation for store owners to remove them thereafter. 

The artwork was curated by Conrad Benner and curator Ginger Rudolph.

A full, annotated list of Love + Grit’s storefront artwork can be found on its website. The artists behind each piece are credited as well.

Past this, there is a sweepstakes currently open that’s offering a $2,000 prize package to one winner. 

The prize package contains over 20 gifts, and was curated by businesses involved in the project and other businesses owned by people of color. Those interested can enter here.

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