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Imaging91 Paints the City Black again, releasing a fine art photo book to raise funds for emerging black artists

05-26-2021 05:06 PM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Prosh Marketing

Paint the City Black- book cover

Paint the City Black- book cover

On June 6, one year since Toronto’s Graffiti Alley was transformed for Paint the City Black, Imaging91 and the artists involved are releasing a book documenting this unprecedented event, “Paint the City Black”. This event saw 47 artists painting together in protest against the many incidents of police violence against people of colour that culminated in a worldwide outcry sparked by the murder of George Floyd by Derek C. on May 25, 2020. 100% of the profits of the book’s sale will be donated to Nia Centre for the Arts, a non-profit that supports emerging black artists of all disciplines.

“This may be the first time that so many artists congregated in Toronto and painted for a specific cause… Given the historical and ephemeral nature of this mural art, I considered it important to photograph these paintings so that they are preserved for a long time,”, states Mark Segal, photographer, and Founder of Imaging91.

This book is the most complete published record that exists of the artwork from this ground-breaking, revolutionary event, and is priced affordably to make it accessible to more people. It is an extension and preservation of the artists standing up and speaking out against racist policing through their painting. Segal captured these images just days after their creation, so the book-owners will have the pleasure of retaining this collection of high-quality reproductions as they were originally painted.

Since the event, much of this artwork has been lost in the constant turnover of painted murals and graffiti in the alleys. The nature of this place and this art form is that almost nothing will last more than a year or two. Segal shares, “The art in the Alley turns over rather frequently, it gets tagged, and defaced and degraded, and much of this work is painted on construction boards that will one day be removed. This is quality mural art, bearing an important social message. That is why I thought it necessary to make a good photographic record of it.”

An artist and organizer of the event, Nick Sweetman played a vital role in ensuring all works are included in the book and the profits go to an important cause. Two other organizers, graffiti writers Sadar and Jessey Phade Pacho, contributed to the book by remixing murals from the event for the cover design and writing an introductory essay that sets the context of the larger movement against anti-black racism and police violence against BIPOC, respectively.

With the book, Imaging91 aims to raise funds for the Nia Centre for the Arts to support the next generation of black artists beginning to express themselves. Contributing to this project will help amplify diverse voices, present and future, and the valuable message their artwork contains. It is a small step towards bringing about an essential change around race and law enforcement. Starting on June 6, you can find this limited edition book on the Imaging91 website, and you can sign up on Eventbrite now for the virtual book release party in Graffiti Alley, sponsored by Lobby and Prosh Marketing.

Press Contacts:
Mark Segal

Nick Sweetman

Imaging91 is a new digital imaging and publication enterprise starting up with this unique book, printed in Canada, featuring socially purposeful Toronto mural art. Imaging 91 aims to publish more books focusing on preserving and propagating Toronto's rich mural arts traditions. It also offers services for archival pigment printing and high-quality scanning of film media.
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