23 July 2020
Grosvenor Americas unveils significant mural by B.C. artist Drew Young in Brentwood
Metro Vancouver’s newest public art project is being unveiled at this weekend’s Brentwood Community Days presented by Grosvenor.
Grosvenor Americas (Grosvenor) is unveiling a massive, 4,000 sq.-ft. mural—160 feet in length by 20 feet tall—this weekend at their Brentwood Community Days.
The mural, commissioned by Grosvenor, is located on part of the Grosvenor Brentwood development site in Burnaby, which is also the location of the Brentwood Great Takeout Food Truck Festival and Brentwood Artisan Farmers’ Market, both made possible by Grosvenor's initiative to engage and interact with the community as part of their Brentwood Community Days on their site.
The new mural, entitled “Pursuit of Chance,” was painted over the course of three weeks by Vancouver-based artist Drew Young (b.1987 Victoria, B.C.) as part of Grosvenor's ongoing support of public art in Metro Vancouver and globally, and its desire to activate future development sites and encourage community interaction.
“The mural has a unique aesthetic, striking a balance between photo-realism and digital abstraction on a huge scale. It’s got one foot in the past and one in the future,” says Young, a prolific muralist who acts as Curator and Artistic Director for the Vancouver Mural Festival as well as Visual Arts Director for Skookum Festival. “I’m looking at the mural’s vibrancy as a forecast for the neighbourhood, a soon-to-be vibrant space.” As the Founder of Snag, a weekly live-painting exhibition focused on illuminating Vancouver’s alternative arts culture, Young has inspired and worked on hundreds of public art projects across the Lower Mainland, including the impossible-to-miss South Granville mural on the side of the Aritzia/TNA storefront.
“The Brentwood mural was an opportunity for me to create unhindered—it became a paramount piece for me, in regard to scale and complexity,” says Young. “It’s everything I've learned from practicing public art, acting as a representation of the 10-plus years of skills I've developed as a muralist and fine artist.”
“The Brentwood piece has the elegance of photo-realism and abstraction that I love and it represents the paramount design of the medium,” says Young. “Realism accurately and efficiently represents its subject matter.”
The mural’s impact—both in size and vision—will complement Grosvenor’s existing investment in the Brentwood neighbourhood, being the Brentwood Great Takeout Food Truck Festival and Brentwood Artisan Farmers’ Market held each weekend through September and October 2020, respectively. These events have already drawn thousands from across the region to Brentwood since launching in June.
Activating future development sites by investing in places the community can gather is part of Grosvenor’s Living Cities approach and the company’s purpose of providing lasting commercial and social benefit, even in the earliest stages of planning and development. The developer has a global history of sharing and activating their properties for the public, as properties await development.
But the mural isn’t just a point of pride for residents. As has been proven globally over and over again, investment in placemaking attracts visitors to neighbourhoods, and as visitors (and locals) increasingly share their experiences on social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram, placemaking is becoming a powerful new tool. One global example exists in Vancouver—the Alley Oop revitalization between Seymour and Granville, where the Downtown Vancouver BIA painted a laneway bright pink, installed basketball hoops and allowed day disco parties, among other events. That popularity was fueled by the K-pop band Twice featuring the alley in their music video for the song “Likey” which has more than 460 million views on Youtube.
“I acknowledge and respect Grosvenor’s effort to engage with Vancouver’s local art and artists—they have an understanding of the intrinsic value public art has on communities,” says Young. “It’s a key value in my own practice—to always be inspiring and nurturing creative expression in the community.”
Young notes Grosvenor’s approach and understanding of the artistic process with the commission of his mural; specifically: let the artist work. “it’s been a dream client relationship; a carte blanche for me to create,” he says. “Grosvenor’s been very supportive about the medium and the direction where I took the artwork, its aesthetic and how I needed to elevate it.”
The legacy of supporting local artists to tell their community’s story is one that Grosvenor is known for globally.
“We recognize and appreciate the important role public art plays and we have a strong desire to make public art more accessible to not only our residents but the broader community,” says Michael Ward, Senior Vice President of Development and General Manager, Vancouver of Grosvenor Americas. “It is an honour to continue our contribution to the local art community with this installation in Brentwood Burnaby and to shine light on talented artists like Drew Young.”
Grosvenor’s contribution of Young’s Brentwood mural adds to the public art Grosvenor has commissioned in recent years from the likes of Douglas Coupland, i.e Creative, Brent Comber and Lyse Lemieux at Grosvenor Ambleside, Connaught in Edgemont Village, and The Pacific in downtown Vancouver. In all commissions, Grosvenor went beyond the public art requirements of the municipality, demonstrating their ongoing support of local artists, community vibrancy, and promoting neighbourhood engagement.
Additionally, in further support of B.C. artists, Grosvenor Americas is set to begin construction on a seven-storey building that will become a multi-purpose arts and culture hub. It is one of the single largest in-kind community amenity contribution (CAC) projects in Vancouver and is located adjacent Grosvenor’s The Pacific development site in downtown Vancouver. The building will also be the first commercial building in Vancouver to be constructed to Passive House standards, which is arguably the highest level of sustainable building today.
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About Grosvenor Americas
Grosvenor Americas is an active developer and investor in several high-quality cities across the U.S. and Canada. Our strategy is to invest in vibrant urban locations where our activities can make a positive contribution to neighborhoods and communities.
Our active development pipeline focuses on projects in urban, transit-oriented and/or amenity-rich neighborhoods and includes current projects such as Crescent in San Francisco, The Pacific in downtown Vancouver, and Eckington Yards in Washington, D.C. We are also advancing larger multi-year projects in San Francisco, West Silicon Valley and Vancouver. Our Investment program adds value to residential, commercial and retail assets while also managing a portfolio of stable, high-quality properties across North America. Our Structured Development Finance business provides funds for much-needed residential development projects in our high growth markets.
We are part of Grosvenor Group, a privately owned international property company. With a track record of more than 340 years, the Group develops, manages and invests with a purpose of improving property and places to deliver lasting commercial and social benefit.
As of December 31, 2019, Grosvenor Americas had assets under management of CAD $5B.
Notes to Editors
About Artist Andrew Young:
Drew Young (b.1987 Victoria, B.C.) currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He studied at The Victoria College of Art and received his diploma in Illustration and Applied Arts (IDEA) at Capilano University. Young is an internationally exhibited painter with shows and projects in Los Angeles (Thinkspace Gallery), Hawaii (POW!WOW!), San Francisco (Gauntlet Gallery), Denver (Abend Gallery), Tokyo (Amp), London (Rook and Raven), New York City (Re:Form Projects), and Bogota (Come Together). He’s also been featured by Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, Booooooom.com, Supersonic Electronic and BlueCanvas.
His painting accolades have brought him many curatorial and creative director opportunities in recent years.
He’s acted as the Visual Arts curator for TedX Vancouver 2014/2015, Skookum 2018 as well as the Founder of Snag—a weekly live-painting exhibition focused on illuminating Vancouver’s alternative arts culture. His consultation and curation efforts have led to thousands of artworks finding their way to collectors' walls and hundreds of public art projects coming to fruition across the Lower Mainland.