Ongoing Toronto event series allows participants to explore their sensual fantasies
Jems Condoms and the Ace Hotel Toronto teamed up for a Valentine's inspired drawing session hosted by Toronto-based artist Michelle LeFade.
Taking place at Interspace, people gathered for a night of drawing on their sensual fantasies. Given access to an array of art material and inspirational still life and books, participants had a night of creative freedom.
As the fourth edition to Jems and Ace Hotel Toronto's collaborative series Rubber Hearts, Drawing Desires was open to beginner and novice artists.
Jems and Ace Hotel Toronto began their collaboration back in September 2022 for Rubber Hearts first event Sex Unbound, when Nyarkoh reached out to the condom brand in March 2022.
I spoke to Creative Director at Jems Emmi Ojansivu and Community and Marketing Manager at Ace Hotel Toronto Michael Nyarkoh on their collaboration.
"[We want] folks to come in and feel like they've unlocked something that they may have been shy to get into or think about," said Nyarkoh. "And allow them to be outside of their bodies."
In front of each seat, participants were given a complimentary pencil, drawing book and Jems Condom package.
The event began with LeFade guiding participants through the tools and ways of expression that people could explore in a safe space. LeFade discussed emotional expression through bodies and sexual expression through art.
"[When organizing] we wanted to think of other ways to explore this and come together in curiosity, not just conversations, but also physically explore this," said Ojansivu.
Throughout the night, participants could explore the space around them. Books, rope, and a table set up with erotic display of fruits, candles and cigarettes were on display for inspiration.
LeFade also offered participants paper that she had created herself, that came in a variety of colours.
The Interspace room at the Ace Hotel was the perfect setting for the night, with warm toned lighting and tables set up where folks could converse and paint or draw with new people.
Overall, the calmness of the space gave a feeling of safety and experimentalness.
"We wanted to empower the community with [Rubber Hearts] and get a space for that kind of expression," said Ojansivu. "We've had these little seeds of things we want to do and we've found the right way to execute them."
Whether its erotic Valentine's Day cards or watercolour paintings, the space to create whatever the sensual heart desired was present at Drawing Desires.
While the date for the next event has not been announced, Jems and Ace Hotel Toronto will continue to work together for the next installment of Rubber Hearts.
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