Creative Activism

What: An art exhibit showcasing creative activist art.
When: March 20 to April 19, opening reception March 20th.
Where: Toronto Free Gallery, 1277 Bloor St. W. (just east of Lansdowne).
Who: Many artists, including someone we all know, Tino!

Martin Reis is involved in many aspects of the Toronto cycling community. He's a year-round bike commuter, bike film maker, member of ARC, activist, regular participant at Critical Mass, and an all-around nice guy.

Online, many of us know him through his Bike Lane Diary blog, in addition to his posts right here on I Bike TO. He has also been busy documenting the work of the Urban Repair Squad (O.U.R.S.) as they paint guerrilla bike lanes around the city.

This is where his part of the Creative Activism art exhibit comes in.

O.U.R.S. had a busy summer last year, painting their own bike lanes on major roads in the downtown Toronto area. Queen St. West, Ossington Ave., and Bloor St. were all targeted by the Urban Repair Squad.

"We hear city is broke. We fix, No charge." is the rallying cry of this group of cycling activists. Whether the lanes they create are legal, or even safe, is not the point of this group. Their direct actions have caused the city, media, and other cyclists take notice of the fact that the city's Bike Plan has progressed at a glacial pace, and that the cost of actually implementing bike lanes is minimal, if it can be done overnight by a small group of "guerrillas".

Martino has been there to document the actions of O.U.R.S. Some of his photographs are on the O.U.R.S. website, and you'll be able to see even more in person at the Toronto Free Gallery.

Other artists at the Creative Activism exhibit will cover topics such as guerrilla gardening, mapping surveillance-free walks, and more. It should be an exciting opening for the Toronto Free Gallery's new location at Bloor and Lansdowne. Check the flyer for more details.

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