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The donors: Jennifer Lee Koss and the “Dot Army”

The gift: Raising $100,000

The cause: The Art Gallery of Ontario

The reason: To purchase one of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms

When the Art Gallery of Ontario held a showing of Yayoi Kusama’s mesmerizing Infinity Mirror Room last spring, the demand for the exhibition was overwhelming and more than 160,000 people came to see it.

The event was so successful, the AGO has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $1.3-million to buy a permanent Infinity Mirror Room from the celebrated Japanese artist. The work will cost about $2.3-million and the AGO has already raised the first million.

Open this photo in gallery:

Pumpkins installation in the Infinity Mirrored Room by Yayoi Kusama, at the Art Gallery of Ontario on Feb. 26, 2018.Fred Lum/the Globe and Mail

The idea for the crowdfunding campaign came from Jennifer Lee Koss, a gallery trustee who runs a craft store in Toronto called Brika. She’d heard the story of the AGO’s public fundraising campaign in the 1950s to acquire Tintoretto’s Christ Washing His Disciples’ Feet and suggested that crowdfunding for a Kusama was modern-day equivalent. Ms. Lee Koss reached out to a network of 20 women who love art and asked if they would raise $100,000. “I said, ‘why don’t we make a significant gift to do something that stands for women supporting women?’ ” she said. The women, dubbed the “Dot Army” after the artist’s use of polka dots, have jumped in and they are close to meeting the target.

The AGO has raised more than $300,000 so far from the crowdfunding and the campaign ends on Nov. 30. “This won’t be a one off,” Ms. Lee Koss said. “I think it’s important to say, especially for a group for women, that we have a voice and we can appreciate the idea of ownership. Throughout history, women have been making incredible contributions.”

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