Artists have expressed their support of the Black Lives Matter movement by painting a mural of George Floyd in Toronto’s graffiti alley on Saturday, June 6.
A peaceful protest was held in downtown Toronto with thousands of participants in tribute to George Floyd and in support of the anti-racism movement Black Lives Matter. While many protesters chose to walk around the downtown areas holding up signs or taking a knee with police officers, many artists decided to make significant impacts through their works.
“I think it’s amazing to see the community come together. And not just our community of artists, but just people of all races, nations, and creed come together to speak out against such atrocities that we’re seeing in the world today,”- said Jessey Pacho, who co-organized this event.
More than 40 artists from Toronto and some other parts of Ontario participated in Paint the City Black last Saturday and they have made amazing pieces of art. They transformed the colourful Graffiti alley, which is located between McDougall Lane and Augusta Avenue, near Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue to a black-theme art show to demonstrate their desire to change others’ perceptions.
Based on the information from organizers of this event, a call to artists was brought up on Tuesday. Over four days, the team received many positive responses and supports from artists themselves and advocates.
“It’s a lot of people understanding that now’s the time to say something … We’re coming together to say something important,” Moises Frank, co-founder of Paint the City Black, said during an interview last Saturday.
Artists have drawn many murals that feature important figures in the anti-racism movement. To kick off this meaningful event, many artists came together and started working on the black panther image with the message “All power to the people”- a slogan from the Civil Rights Movement.
A portrait of George Floyd was also made in the heart of Graffiti Alley. Floyd was held down for almost nine minutes by a police officer in Minneapolis and his death caused a strong backlash against racism towards black people all over the world and sparked many protests. A mural with the words “I can’t breathe” was painted in downtown Toronto to send out the message of anti-racism and support to the black community.
Additionally, artists drew murals of Martin Luther King Jr., Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet and many other figures. They can be either the victims of racism or the heroes who devoted their lives to fight for anti-Black racism.
More than a thousand users have posted about this event online with a hashtag #Paintthecityblack. Many pictures of artworks can be found on Instagram or Twitter. This event also got hundreds of media coverage and so far, it has created enormous impacts towards the Black Lives Matter movement.
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