Inside Gryphon Development’s corporate office (the former Bank of Nova Scotia) at West 41st Avenue and Dunbar Street there is something special going on.
The space contains what you might expect, a showroom for their upcoming projects and offices, but it also includes something not commonly found in a corporate office – an intimate gallery spotlighting the work of local artists for the community to enjoy.
Gryphon Musée features art that showcases the beauty in everyday life.
The gallery was created as a platform for artists to share their inspirations and for audiences to respond with their personal emotions.
Gryphon Development’s roots are in Taiwan where their parent company JinRay is based. Over the last 23 years, JinRay’s architecture has brought to life the corporate motto “The Art of Living.”
Michelle Lee is Gryphon Development’s corporate marketing manager. She says, “Gryphon is not only in the business of real estate, but also is in the service industry to help create community. We pride ourselves in delivering a way of living, a desire, and a possibility of a more refined lifestyle.”
For Westbury, Gryphon Development’s first town home project in Vancouver, North Vancouver artist Laura Scaligine was invited to create a painting to complement the beautiful garden. Her painting was originally done in acrylic paint and will be transformed into a large mosaic wall for placement in the Westbury garden when the project completes.
Instead of focusing only on the interior finishes and appliances, these extra artistic elements build a sense of belonging and community for homebuyers.
Michelle says, “It is not just a house; it’s your home. It’s where you spend time with your family.”
Architecture has a lasting impact on a community. Gryphon Development believes when art and architecture are put together, the possibilities and benefits are endless.
Gryphon Musée is not an art gallery. There is no admission fee and it does not operate for a profit. The gallery is a platform for artists to share their creativity and for audiences to experience their work. It is a space where the public is invited to gather and create community. Some of the company’s happiest moments are when families with children visit Gryphon Musée.
The Gryphon Development team are active community participants. They invite the public to come in and tour their office. They have welcomed the Dunbar Village Business Association to hold education seminars at their office. Public events are part of each art exhibition. Local art students are hired to as tour guides to explain both the artists’ backgrounds and their art.
“You are invited to experience Gryphon Musée at your own pace. We do not promote our real estate projects to Musée visitors.” Michelle Lee
Since its inception, three exhibitions have been mounted in collaboration with the local art community. To date over 1,500 visitors have visited Gryphon Musée.
The first exhibit was in conjunction with the North Vancouver Arts Council and their art rental program. It was followed by Urban Landscape, and featured talented local artists Jeff Wilson and Andrew McDermott. The third installation, Every Art Original, featured gifted young artists Fiona Tang and Caitlin Reid.
For the Every Art Original exhibit, Gryphon Development invited Fiona Tang to create an art piece for their office space. This provided a unique opportunity for art lovers to witness how Fiona’s stunning creations are inspired and created.
“Michelle says, “Step by step, bit-by-bit, we believe by sharing the beauty of art with our visitors we can help create a better and happier world.”
As of September Gryphon’s Dunbar office is going through some renovations and is scheduled to reopen next spring. Michelle and the Gryphon team look forward to welcoming visitors back to explore the latest Musée Gryphon exhibit.
Thank you, Gryphon Development, for offering this gift of culture to Dunbar; this is what being a Champion of Dunbar Village is all about. It comes in many forms and this unique contribution, which enriches people through the beauty and power of art, is another example of people caring for their community and helping to make it one of the best neighbourhoods in the city.