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Sheldon Abba’s Street Art Tribute to 52nd Street’s Black-owned Businesses

April 13, 2018

(Photos by Streets Dept Contributor Eric Dale)

Installed last fall, just spotted this piece from Sheldon Abba!

The installation is apart of Sheldon’s Cross City Communication series that’s aimed at highlighting ephemeral moments in our quickly changing city and connecting Philadelphians across neighborhoods. You can read my interview with Sheldon from when he launched the series here.

The piece photographed in this post is installed in an old abandoned pay-phone on 52 Street in West Philly. Sheldon wrote the following about this installation to his Instagram:

“52nd Street represents a part of the city’s history of black owned business and economic sovereignty. From the African Cultural Art Forum (ACAF) to the bulls selling tees from sidewalk stands, individuals are working to provide for themselves and their families on their own terms. I felt fortunate to get to explore that zone this summer while working on the PHL Assembled project and now enjoy going out there when I have time to cop sunglasses from the sidewalk stands (best cheap pairs I’ve found in a while,) grab some Jamaican food from the spot on the corner of Locust, and go chill in the park.”

“I thought this photo of a shop owner holding a million balloons (count them, it’s definitely a million) represents the vibe and energy you feel out there walking the street.”

Absolutely love this series from Sheldon… Be sure to follow him on Instagram to see his latest installations!

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