LOVE Letters Hoarding Exhibit

A STEPS PROJECT

This multi-sensory hoarding exhibit at the heart of Downtown Toronto’s Waterfront was completed in collaboration with Oddside Arts, Curtia Wright, Never Gallery Ready, Waterfront BIA and Waterfront Toronto. Inspired by the many forms of love, this project engaged community members, inviting them to submit written and audio love letters, which was incorporated into the final artwork with interactive augmented reality (AR) components.

“Try to love without judgement, without fear and with full freedom.”
Julia, LOVE Letters Community Participant

Project at a Glance

Location: LovePark (Intersection of York St and Queens Quay W, Toronto, Ontario)

Artist(s): Oddside Arts (Queen Kukoyi and Nico Taylor), Curtia Wright, Never Gallery Ready (karen darricades, Ai and Bayan A. Chacra)

Year: 2021-2022

Project Photographer/Videographer: Selina McCallum

Services: PATCH Construction Hoarding Exhibits

1

Construction Hoarding Exhibit

6

Artists

1

AR
Activation

32

Community Participants engaged

150

Sq. ft of artwork

“Love is being informed about history and current events, being engaged in community to improve the quality of life for oneself and others.”
Judith, LOVE Letters Community Participant

About This Project

In collaboration with Waterfront Toronto and Waterfront BIA, LOVE Letters began in Summer 2021 through the launch of a Call for Participation that invited local community members to submit written and audio stories of their interpretation of love. The resulting artwork would be a visual record of the community’s understanding of the universal emotion through pattern, text and audio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designed by Queen Kukoyi and Nico Taylor from Oddside Arts (formerly BSAM Canada) and created by Toronto-based muralist, Curtia Wright, the final artwork is a wonderful juxtaposition of pattern, colour and sentiment revolving around love and its many definitions. The love letters submitted by the community participants are interwoven into the panels on either side of large-scale painted letters that spell “LOVE”. The intricate patterns and vibrant colours draw inspiration from African fabrics, especially the way the shapes and palettes work together to create something truly unique.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding yet another engaging layer to this project is the augmented reality (AR) component, created by Never Ready Gallery, bringing the artwork off the fence and closer to the viewer. Through the Artivive App, the artwork comes to life in a new way and has audio elements that are associated with the visual records of love.

“The expression of love that has always been with me is how nature nurtures each being, everything that grows from it chooses to nourish every being that comes near it.”
Sehaj, LOVE Letters Community Participant

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About the Artists

Oddside Arts (Queen Kukoyi and Nico Taylor)

Oddside Arts (Queen Kukoyi and Nico Taylor)

Lead Artists

Led by Queen Kukoyi and Nico Taylor, Oddside Arts is a cultural arts not-for-profit that fosters a space for Afro-descendants, most especially women, gender-expansive and LGTBQ+ folks, to theorize, create, and contribute to the development of the equitable future.

@oddsidearts
oddsidearts.ca

Curtia Wright

Curtia Wright

Lead Artist

Curtia Wright is a multi-disciplinary Fine Artist, Mural Artist Illustrator and Arts Educator based in Toronto, Ontario. She received her BFA at OCAD University in the Drawing and Painting program in 2015 and currently teaches at Durham College. 

Her artwork re-imagines our reality using elements of fantasy and surrealism in a diverse array of mediums and styles. Using bold and vibrant colour, she aims to transport audiences to her alternate worlds. Colour functions as a powerful element to create a sense of bliss within the viewer. Wright’s murals commonly depict abstract figures surrounded by floral patterned elements. The narratives in her artwork mostly focus on telling stories of black peoples of the African diaspora, primarily speaking about her own heritage and history as a Jamaican-Canadian. 

She’s collaborated on mural projects with community organizations such as Mural Routes, STEPS, Art Starts, NIA Centre and private mural commissions across the Toronto and the GTA and has collaborated with brands such as The Hudson’s Bay and Foot Locker Canada.

@curtia
curtiawright.com

Never Gallery Ready (karen darricades, Ai and Bayan A. Chacra)

Never Gallery Ready (karen darricades, Ai and Bayan A. Chacra)

AR Artists

Never Gallery Ready (NgR) is an arts organization providing media-literacy focused arts education to children and youth. Never Gallery Ready’s community-engaged arts projects explore media and digital literacy through hands-on media-making and interactive installations, along with  AR (augmented reality) with professional arts communities and young people 13-19 with no previous animation experiences.

@nevergalready
nevergalleryready.com

Project Partners and Funders

This work is designed by Oddside Arts in collaboration with Waterfront Toronto, Waterfront BIA, and STEPS Public Art

PATCH (Public Art Through Construction Hoarding) Exhibits are the industry gold standard for connecting developers, builders and marketing firms with artists to help you meet public art requirements for your construction site. STEPS’ superior project management skills make this turnkey process easy for you by curating a shortlist of artists, facilitating city approval of exhibit plans, producing the exhibit, as well as, amplifying your city-building story through documenting and promoting the exhibit.

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