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Style In Progress - Will You Get Down?

It's that time again. It's time for the police, the Mayor, the city council and Heinz Kuck, the head of Toronto's graffiti eradication program, to be proven wrong. This weekend is the urban art community's chance to let everyone know that graffiti art in Toronto is not about gangs, drugs and vandalism.

Style In Progress, Canada's largest graffiti and hip hop jam, is going to be taking place this weekend at Young-Dundas Square and in the alleys which run east-west just south of Queen Street from Portland to Spadina.

Come out and take advantage of the rare chance this event provides for the public to witness graffiti art being created and to interact with the artists.

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On Saturday July 16th at Young-Dundas Square there will be bboy battles, performances, painting and at 9pm a screening of R.F.Supa, a film created by Press Pause which chronicles the life of R.F Supa in his grayscale environment. The film is a collaboration of all the members of Press Pause and displays their unique styles through traditional and digital animation.

On Sunday the 17th the event moves to the alleys where over 100 artists from Toronto, across Canada and the U.S.A will work side by side to revamp the walls and brighten our urban landscape.

In light of recent debates about a new by-law , which essentially makes anything the city council defines as 'graffiti' illegal despite the wishes of the property owners, there was some doubt as to whether Style In Progress would be permitted to take place. I think much credit is due to the organizers who worked to keep communication open between the city, the police and the artists. In a time where fascist by-laws (ahem - smoking ban - but that's a whole other post...) seem to be eroding our ability to have control over our immediate lives in this city, it is reassuring to know that the city is at least willing to listen, Plus having members of the city council, who almost certainly lack any sort of art critic credentials, decide what is art and what is vandalism rubs me the wrong way.

Unlike the more commercial Ecko "Getting Up" jam which will take place in August, Style In Progress focuses on showcasing local Toronto talent and is completely free to watch and enjoy (although the after party on Saturday will probably have a small cover charge).

Check out the Style In Progress web page for more info about this weekend's event

Images from www.styleinprogress.ca


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