Photo credit: Alec Smith

Free Paint is a series of free community painting events in public spaces led by artist Mat Tomezsko. Participants are invited to paint freely and learn about color relationships and mark-making while creating a large-scale collaborative painting. 


The material produced during Free Paint events is re-worked into new compositions by Tomezsko. The resulting artwork bears the mark of the community who made it, and are exhibited publicly. 

Free Paint events were developed by Tomezsko during a community-based artist residency at the Tacony LAB through the Mural Arts Philadelphia in 2017. They have since taken place throughout Philadelphia with the support of community partners such as The Barnes Foundation, The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, the City of Philadelphia Parks Department, Fairmount Park Conservancy, Blick Art Supplies, and the Golden Seconds Program. The final compositions have been publicly exhibited at venues such as Cherry Street Pier and Wexler Gallery.

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Free Paint Composition 5/11/2019, acrylic and paper, repurposed material from community paint event, 48" x 48", 2019

Free Paint Composition 8/3/2019, acrylic and paper, repurposed material from community paint event, 24" x 36", 2019

Image by KeneK photography courtesy of Wexler Gallery

This composition is made entirely from community paintings produced during

Free Paint on the Ben Franklin Parkway in partnership with Philadelphia Parks Dept., The Oval+,  and the Barnes Foundation on Saturday, August 3, 2019. Tomezsko was invited to take a tour of the collection to inspire the color palette for the event. He chose Blue Still Life by Henri Matisse (pictured left).

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