i deal coffee

Uproar over art hanging at popular Toronto cafe

A group of Torontonians are taking to social media to denounce I Deal Coffee's curatorial decisions. Many are unhappy because the cafe's Kensington Market location is displaying artwork by Gregory Alan Elliott, a Toronto-based artists and illustrator accused of harassing feminist activists on Twitter.

Elliott was charged with three counts of criminal harassment and is currently waiting for the verdict in his trial.

Now, many are using Twitter and Facebook to speak directly to I Deal Coffee in order to share their disappointment and outrage over its choice to showcase Elliott's work. Being the internet, this has led to rather nasty arguments across both social media platforms.

On Monday, I Deal Coffee addressed the issue. Here's the full statement from its Facebook page:

This is in reference to the artwork at our 84 Nassau St. i deal coffee location;

With all the love in our hearts we like to thank you for voicing your concerns.
i deal coffee in no way, substance or form, endorses stalking or harassment.

As a small local, independently owned roaster cafe, we like to support local artists by showing their work. If any of the content of the art on the walls is considered harmful, we would remove it immediately.

The context of this show is that Greg is a local artist, with a bright history of illustration, design and street art in the Toronto area. His trial has concluded, is awaiting judgement on January 22 and he is innocent until proven guilty. If he had been considered a threat to public safety, he would be in jail as a result of these charges. Since we specialize in making the best cup of coffee with a smile, we will leave it to the judges to decide who has committed a crime and what their sentences or reparations to society will be.

We do not politically align with MRAs but do agree that citizens must have an unalienable right to their beliefs. We have no reason to believe the artist is an MRA, or pushing this agenda in any way through their art as it hangs in the cafe.

What do you think about I Deal's decision to highlight Elliott's artwork? Let us know in the comments.

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