love + grit storefronts project
digital, print, art

art direction, concept, design, research, project management

illkya acosta, artist
black and mobile,
grant blvd,
conrad benner,
project curator
ginger rudolph,
project curator

Love + Grit Storefronts Project is a citywide exhibition transforming empty spaces into art installations by QBIPOC artists highlighting Black- and Brown-owned businesses affected by the pandemic. The art appears in storefronts in multiple neighborhoods— from Chinatown and Roxborough to Northern Liberties and Northwest Philly. 

I was commisioned to be a part of this project at the start of Fall 2021. Curated by Conrad Benner (of photo blog Streets Dept.) and curator Ginger Rudolph, the installation features works by 12 QBIPOC artists. I collaborated with two businesses that served as the inspiration for my custom-made digital artwork.

I was given the pleasure to create a piece for the Philadelphia-based food delivery app, Black and Mobile, as well as sustainable fashion shop, Grant Blvd.

This project was unveiled in November 2021. You can catch a snippet of me here talking about my process on the love + grit Instagram.

For Black and Mobile, I decided to depict a nightscape in the city with a range of late night foodies.

The folks at Black and Mobile were very happy with how it turned out. They made it known that just because their app serves as a vehicle for Black-owned restaurants’ food to be ordered, that anyone of any background can utilize the BAM app to further support Black-owned businesses!

I highly encourage anyone viewing this project to order some food from their app.

For Grant Blvd, I decided to incorporate some of the photography from their website.

I used the color palette of the fall season collection that was featured as my personal palette for this piece. I also added some illustrative use of relevant (earth, recycle, peace, love) symbols mostly hand drawn by myself with the exception of The Liberty Bell graphic.

I highly encourage anyone who loves fashion and sustainability to take a look at Grant Blvd’s website to see what their latest collection is comprised of!

* (ill-🗝️-ah)