Nina Chanel Abney
‘Generally Speaking’, 2021

Curator: Ashley McKenzie-Barnes
On Bellair St. Between Yorkville Ave and Cumberland St.


‘Generally Speaking’ is a thoughtful and provocative public mural by Nina Chanel Abney,⁣ curated by Ashley McKenzie-Barnes, presented in partnership with Yorkville Murals and D.PE Sho Art Foundation, for ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021—2022.


The mural is intentionally placed in the Yorkville district, known to be one of Canada’s most exclusive shopping and entertainment districts. Once rooted in social and political conversations, pop-culture and urbanism and was once the breeding ground for some of Canada’s most notable musical talents. The murals placement in the Yorkville neighbourhood acts as an intervention, confronting the districts own battle with classism and socio-economic status.


Curatorial Statement

“As the city begins its recovery on the tail end of a global pandemic and the urgency for social justice and reform, this project animates and transforms the Yorkville neighbourhood by injecting sentiments of joy and hope through a bold and colourful piece, that challenges the status quo. Asking pedestrians to ‘stop’ for a moment of consideration on how we can embark on a communal process of healing through art and intentional contemplation. With the continuous calls for justice against racial, cultural, and gender-based violence, discrimination, hate crimes, abuses of authority, and wrongful displacements across nations, we assert the notion of alliance, humanity and togetherness—reinforcing the power and influence of love.”

—Ashley McKenzie-Barnes⁣






Video production: D.PE Agency, Dahol Otoide of Free Creates Studios
Drone footage: Ram Abhishek

Production Technicians: Jeff Blackburn, Smolik
PR: Deanne Moser


ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022 will kick-off the City’s new 10-Year of Public Art Strategy, signalling Toronto’s renewed commitment to public art. ArtworxTO will provide new opportunities for both Toronto and international artists to play a leading role in the development of public art projects within the city.


Following the Economic Development and Culture’s Divisional Plan, emphasis is placed on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, including a focus on Indigenous place-making and addressing anti-Black racism.


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