Local businesses and artists are bringing light back into the Beach community following a difficult and dark COVID-19 winter.
Luminosity, a new and illuminating COVID-safe outdoor art exhibition, has been brought to Queen Street East by the Beach Village BIA, partnered with public installation artists.
“This has been a very difficult time for everyone,” BIA chair Marg Gillespie said in a recent release. “Art and light have a way of making people look at things differently, and our hope is that this exhibition will bring optimism and joy to those who see them.”
Luminosity features eight diverse light installations placed between Kingston Road and the Neville Park streetcar loop to encourage visitors to explore the neighbourhood in a physically distanced way.
The displays are to be featured along Queen until April 11 with ongoing support from the artists and BIA to keep the exhibits well-maintained.
’88 Keys Of Light’ by Kristyn Watterworth & Edward Platero
At Queen and Kingston, “88 Keys of Light” is an interactive visual and musical experience. The user-oriented piece is a Luminosity favourite and the sixth collaboration between artists Kristyn Watterworth and Edward Platero.
‘Chee-Win’ by Jungle Ling
Made from recycled materials sourced from demolished Toronto buildings, “Chee-Win” stands nearly six feet tall at the corner of Queen and Winners Circle. Independent artist Jungle Ling often incorporates discarded elements from buildings or nature into his art.
‘Headlights’ by Collective Memory
Showcased in front of Kew Beach Public School, this unique Luminosity display was created from a collection of thrifted and donated materials. Collective Memory is a design and public art group founded by artists Robert McKaye and Stoyan Barakov. This installation has quickly become a favourite for the community with a significant presence on social media.
‘Sugar Mountain’ by Rhonda Weppler & Trevor Mahovsky
Outside the Toronto Public Library-Beaches Branch, this delectably delicious display is a sweet treat for all who walk by. These bright, but sadly inedible, cake and pastry installations were produced by the artistic duo Weppler Mahovsky.
‘Light Tree’ by Opus Art Projects
Flowing strands of colour-changing LEDs hang from the branches of a tree outside Tori’s Bakeshop at 2188 Queen St. East. This installation was designed by Beach residents Laura Wood and Dawn Tyrell, the artists who make up Opus Art Projects. Both Wood and Tyrell were pleased to participate in Luminosity so close to home, sharing a statement on the Beach BIA website which reads “to lift the spirits through art is especially meaningful when those spirits are your closest friends, family, and neighbours.”
‘Beacon Silo’ by Chris Foster
Artist Chris Foster pulled inspiration from the iconic silos of southern Ontario, crossed with a disco ball and lighthouse to create “Beacon Silo,” now on display at the Balsam Avenue intersection. Foster has brought other silos to outdoor displays, including “Icicle Silo,” which was on display at Ontario Place’s Winter Light exhibition three years ago.
‘Out From Under The Shadows’ by Bryan Faubert
The largest display of Luminosity, “Out From Under The Shadows,” spans roughly 80 by 20 feet against 2266 Queen St. East. Artist Bryan Faubert uses light to project shadow murals through intricately carved metallic sheets, creating larger-than-life designs and images for visitors to enjoy.
‘Share The Love’ by Thelia Sanders Shelton
Made from driftwood, this sculpture is the final stop on the Luminosity 2021 tour. Prominently displayed at the Neville Park Loop, this wooden figure with its big red heart is a reminder to “Share the Love” through these hard times. Thelia Sanders Shelton is the artist behind Toronto-based Shore Land Arts and well known for the Toronto Driftwood Sign and El Corazon.