Nuit Blanche Toronto

Word Count: 501

Suggested hed.: Inside Out Project intrigues visitors at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche

 

Lori Christmas

 

This year marked the 10th anniversary of Toronto’s free and temporary art event Nuit Blanche.

 

From dusk until dawn, over 100 contemporary art projects were displayed across downtown Toronto for visitors to discover. Nuit Blanche attracts nearly a million people each year.

 

A highlight for many visitors at this year’s event was the “Inside Out” art project displayed, for the most part, in Nathan Phillips Square, as well as over 10 different locations across the city.

 

“The Inside Out Project is essentially an art platform that can be used to celebrate or raise awareness about a specific issue or it can just be used to celebrate community art,” says Norman Archer, an employee of the art movement.

“I think the inspiration behind this project in particular is to celebrate the arts in Toronto. Nuit Blanche is all about artists reclaiming space and this project allows people to be the art and to reclaim their own space,” Archer says.

 

The Inside Out Project was formed by an artist named JR in 2011. It is a global platform that allows everyone, no matter who they are, to stand up for what they believe in and to share their untold stories.

 

Portraits are taken of people from all different parts of the city and are printed in large. The portraits are then pasted all over the surfaces of the city. In Toronto, Nathan Phillips Square was covered with the faces of all types of people.

 

Countless hours went in to producing this exhibit. “We've been here since Saturday (Sept. 26th), so we've been collecting portraits Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We've collected nearly 3,000 portraits and counting. We've been pasting [the portraits] pretty much all day for the past week in order to make this project possible across Toronto,” Archer says.

 

The movement has reached 124 countries since 2011, with over 250,000 portraits taken. The inside out project has raised awareness for many issues all over the world including: Black Lives Matter, Clean Air - The Right to Breathe, Justice for Afghan Refugees in Belgium, LGBT Rights in Berlin’s Russian Embassy, Orphans with HIV/AIDS, Save the Arctic, and many more.

 

One of the main goals of the Toronto Inside Out Project is to promote diversity and community within the city.  “Toronto is one of the most multi cultural cities in the world. I think a piece like this really shows that. You see all these different faces, all these different people, from all over the city coming together as individuals to be a collective art piece,” Archer says.

 

The potential of the Inside Out Project is very high and has already proven to be global.

 

As the founder of this project and artist JR once said, “Can art change the world? Maybe we should change the question: Can art change people’s lives?”

 

For more information about the Inside Out Project visit: insideoutproject.net

© Lori Christmas

lori christmas