FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, January 25, 2021- As part of ArtworxTO, Toronto artist Jessica Lin’s The Serenity Experience in Riverside aims to bring calm and spark joy during these challenging times this winter.
This immersive public art exhibit enables everyone to experience ten illuminated window installations hosted by local businesses within the Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) along Queen Street East between Davies Ave and De Grassi Street.
The artwork explores the question of what triggers our brain to feel calmness and happiness, and suggests ideas as to how we can deliberately harness this to increase our sense of personal well being.
Each window installation is unique and together the ten locations form the full Serenity Experience in Riverside. They can be experienced nightly from dusk to midnight until mid-March, as well as through full online audio and visual components accessible anytime, including: soothing sounds, virtual tours, Instagram Live happiness talks, an online scavenger hunt for local prizes, and more.
“Riverside BIA is proud to be a huge supporter of local artists. This project is very timely in bringing light and positivity at a time when our local businesses are in need of much community support and hope. As the Serenity Experience Happiness Tip on my business window says, I highly encourage everyone to ‘ Vote with your dollars and support small businesses – you have the power to shape the future of your neighbourhood!’ ,” says Riverside BIA Chair, Mitch Korman.
“The Serenity Experience” started as an experiment on myself, to see if I could intentionally shift my experience of reality, and consequently, shift my reality itself. What started off as a small 8’x5’ multisensory hut has now grown to about 127 linear feet of window space along a roughly 450m stretch of Queen St East, and almost two months of connected activities and multi-media content – thanks to the passion of the Riverside BIA and the ArtworxTO initiative. I’m very excited to be part of this, and can’t wait to see what magic occurs over the next couple of months!” – Toronto artist Jessica Lin.
“As part of Toronto’s Year of Public Art, the City is pleased to support these stunning art installations in Riverside which include such positive messages. They help showcase a local Toronto artist while supporting our small businesses through these challenging times,” says Councillor Paula Fletcher, Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth.
The virtual Serenity Experience in Riverside is available at: www.riverside-to.com/the-serenity-experience/
The live experience is viewable in local business windows along Queen Street East until mid-March, 2021. The full map of locations and resources is available here: https://tinyurl.com/SerenityRiverside
The Scavenger Hunt is accessible by downloading the GooseChase app on any smart phone, looking up The Serenity Experience and entering game code GZK46X. The game includes fun missions to gain points toward prizes for gift cards from local Riverside restaurants and retailers.
Thanks to the key partners who supported this project: the City of Toronto’s ArtworxTO program, Riverside BIA, and Toronto artist Jessica Lin. Thank you also to all the local businesses who have lent their window space in support of public art.
List of Participating Businesses and Locations in Riverside
Darkhorse Espresso – 630 Queen Street East
Album Hair – 639 Queen Street East
Oma Chiropractic & Wellness – 4 Munro Street
Eastbound Brewing Co – 700 Queen Street East
Korman & Co – 721 Queen Street East
Dimensions Custom Framing & Gallery – 732 Queen Street East
Dresden Vision – 733 Queen Street East
The Opera House Grill – 737 Queen Street East
Common Sort – 760 Queen Street East
Untitled by Flaunt Boutique – 792 Queen Street East
Jennifer Lay, Riverside BIA Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-466-8167
Jessica Lin, Artist, email@example.com
About the Artist – Jessica Lin
Jessica Lin is a Toronto-based photographer and artist with a love of travel and adventure. Known for her abstract landscape artwork, Jessica pulls elements from her various photographs and recomposes to create a new, unseen world. Throughout these pieces, the cycles of nature and the interconnectedness of everything (and everyone) are strong themes. Jessica’s #TheSerenityExperience is an experimental installation inspired by one of her 2D artworks (entitled “Serenity”), and incorporating other elements to engage the senses. Jessica’s aim is to bring this piece to life for viewers to experience a deeper and more complete sense of calmness and connectedness. By sharing their reactions using #TheSerenityExperience hashtag, viewers become active participants in and contributors to the experience.
About the Riverside BIA
The Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA), established in 1980, is one of the first BIAs in Canada. The Riverside BIA is a community-oriented not-for-profit association of local business people, organizations and property owners who work in partnership with the City of Toronto to enhance the Riverside business district, located along Toronto’s Queen Street East from the DVP to Empire Avenue. The BIA’s mandate is to improve, beautify and promote Riverside district through marketing, public programming and streetscape improvements.