An annual Art Walk, a fistful of Galleries and a relatively scenic view to boot. South Granville has been an art/design hub for decades. The Galleries run the gamut. As a child I remember The Folks dragging me up and down Granville to see what they had their sights set on. Sometimes a painting would just miraculously land on a wall in the living room, but sometimes I got to help escort the painting home. Because it was over 20 years ago, the names are fuzzy but some of the locations remain clear.
Over the past 8 years of my most resent Vancouver stint, galleries have been moving out of the neighborhood and over to much more “rent friendly” spaces. Up until almost a year ago The Monte Clark Gallery sat where one of my more memorable SG gallery experiences occurred. One of 2339 Granville’s incarnations was Westbridge Fine Arts (now actually not too far away in the Armoury District). This was where The Folks bought what have turned out to be some of my favourite pieces. Beautiful antique oils, with vaguely gilded frames and just enough grime to make a little girl think they belonged in the Musée d’Orsay and not on the stucco walls of a mid century bungalow.
Another family favorite, which has grown on me in my advancing years - is the Robert Genn. The Folks procured the colorful landscape at Galerie Royal – now the familiar Heffel Fine Art Auction House. In fact, about bout 3 months ago I was at a friend’s place and was once again admiring the B C Binning print hanging over his couch. Not a week later I was wheezing up the west side of Granville and as per habit, glanced through Heffel's glass door. There hung the same (not exactly the same, naturally) B C Binning print, depicting stylized freighters in shades of the West Coast. Grabbing a rock from the gutter I hurled it through the glass that separated me from my one true love and . . . . . . I digress.
As closely tied to architecture, as B C Binning was it’s interesting to note that the building Heffel now occupies has some significant historical not to mention, architectural ties as well. Now on the corner of Broadway and Granville it was originally built for the Royal Bank of Canada. However, arguably a more interesting fact is: that after the Royal Bank years, 2247 Granville eventually became the offices of Erickson Massey. That’s right, Vancouver favourite Arthur Erickson enjoyed a successful stint in fair South Granville. Ta Da!
Join me again next time as I continue my sentimental journey up the road and down memory lane.