Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Crowdfunding Campaign Aims to Bring Infinity Mirror Room to Toronto, Forever

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Crowdfunding Campaign Aims to Bring Infinity Mirror Room to Toronto, Forever

Article excerpt

AGO seeks permanent Infinity Mirror Room

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TORONTO - The Art Gallery of Ontario wants the success of its recent Infinity Mirrors exhibit to go on, and on, and on -- and so it's turning to fans of last spring's showcase to help it buy an Infinity Mirror Room for its permanent collection.

An online crowdfunding campaign began Thursday and, if successful, would add an Instagram-friendly mirror-lined room to the Toronto gallery this spring.

Stephan Jost, the AGO's Michael and Sonja Koerner director, says fans have 30 days to help the gallery reach its target of $1.3 million for the $2-million purchase.

He says the AGO has secured $1 million for the plan, and is asking the public to provide an extra $300,000 to help pay for ancillaries, including the campaign and setup of the immersive piece.

The AGO extended its hours to accommodate more than 165,000 people who caught "Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors" last spring, when crowds lined up around the block. At the time, visitors were allowed just 20 to 30 seconds in each kaleidoscope room.

Jost wouldn't say how much time visitors would have at an AGO-bought room, but noted visitors would be able to return again and again. The InfinityAGO campaign is at Infinityago.ca.

Jost expects the unorthodox funding plan would help the AGO forge deeper ties to its youthful audience -- he says 29 per cent of visitors last year were between the ages of 20 and 30.

"We'll have probably thousands of people giving us $25 and my hope is all those people can say to their kids or grandkids or nephews or nieces, 'Hey, I bought that for the AGO'," says Jost, noting that the gallery also sought the public's help in 1958 to buy a reproduction of Jacopo Tintoretto's "Christ Washing His Disciples' Feet," which cost $85,000 at the time.

"There's probably easier ways to raise $1.3 million, but I really feel like it's a really important way to do that so that, really, the public is a part of the AGO. …

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