Inside or Out, DeSantis Homes Integrates Public Art Within Our Communities


Have you ever wondered why we decorate our homes or surround our communities with art?  Every work of art depicts a story, and when you adorn your surroundings with art, you’re essentially filling your life with stories you’d like to share and those which inspire you every day.  Life gets busy, with stringent deadlines and multiple responsibilities, we forget the power of inspiration provided by art. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities. The well-known psychologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot note, “The heights of human motivation spring from the beauty and goodness that precede us and awaken us to better possibilities.” Noted in the Harvard Business Review article “Why Inspiration Matters”. Believed to be a catalyst for inspiration, we look to Toronto as an exemplary city where the importance of art is prominently displayed through the streets.

Where: 18 Yonge Street, Toronto
Artist: Tom Otterness
Follow: @tomotterness

Pictured above in downtown Toronto for example, a whimsical bronze sculpture allows passers-by to pause and reflect on the story it tells about new immigrants to Canada. The sculpted immigrant family is  a classic story of coming into the new world and looking outward towards the future. It is a great depiction of a public art installation that has enlivened a neighbourhood, inspired conversations and spawned a thousand selfies.  Funded by Lanterra Developments Ltd. , they state “With every new condominium we build, we will commission new public art that will depict the vibrant, diverse and multicultural ethos that has made Toronto a world-class city.”

“We are seeing more and more developers wanting to do more than the bare minimum and integrate public art,” says Anjuli Solanki, STEPS (Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space) program director. “They want to build a community and use public art to do it. Most developers are keen to work with local artists and are using art to foster community engagement. It’s really wonderful to see.” She states in the article labelled State of Art published in the Ontario Home Builders Magazine.

Although it is mandated in Toronto, DeSantis Homes elects to implement art within our communities without municipal requirement to do so. Public art funded by developers and builders is finding its way into communities across the GTHA and Niagara Region.

For DeSantis Homes art is an extension of architecture, a natural and fitting inclusion throughout our planning processes.  We believe art has a place throughout every home and the intention is to incorporate visual art pieces within all our communities.

“Public art is an obligation for developers, but I believe they do appreciate and understand how this can make a development more meaningful…We need more than just buildings, and public art adds surprise and delight for people walking down a street.” states Jeanhy Shim, from the article State of Art published in the Ontario Home Builders Magazine.

Where: 10 Concord Pl, Grimsby  
Artist:  Lynn Christine Kelly & Xiaojing Yan
Follow: @lynnchristinekelly & @xiaojing.yan.studio

DeSantis Homes believes that living is about expression, inspiration and enjoying every moment to the fullest. This notion was the guiding principle behind the 2016 Lakeshore Condominium Community AquaBlu located in Grimsby. DeSantis Homes released a Call to Artists that was conducted in a two stage competition format. The Jury was comprised of officials from the Town of Grimsby including the curator of the Grimsby Art Gallery as well as representatives from DeSantis Homes. The winner of the exterior sculpture RFP has their sculpture showcased as an entry feature to the building, positioned in the central roundabout in front of the main foyer. President, Gabriel DeSantis had this to say about his decision to bring art to this building; “It’s not just about turning a key and spending your time inside your condo, it’s about residing in a building with spaces to enjoy beyond your four walls. We want to make AquaBlu about the beauty of living well, and that means art and amenities that surpass the customer expectation of what the condo lifestyle means.”

Another art focused community is right next door at Aquazul Condominiums, located on the shores of Lake Ontario, the inspiration comes from the ever-changing medium of water. Lilly Otasevic, a Toronto artist who won the opportunity to showcase her sculpture in this community back in 2018 states, “You can’t step into the same river twice! My sculpture symbolizes connectedness of all earth and how things are interdependent. It serves to emphasize the water symbolism and to spark conversation while adding to the overall aesthetic experience of this condo complex.”  She incorporated sheet metal, laser and water- jet cut shapes that created visual contradiction making it look almost transparent for the viewer at different angles that can be seen from the North Service Road as you drive or walk past.

Where: 16 Concord Place, Grimsby
Artist: Lilly Otasevic

CoMo Condos in Stoney Creek continues this vision.  Hamilton’s downtown renewal has in many ways been driven by the art community, and one can see how CoMo encompasses the community’s creative flair. Deciding to carry this renaissance into Stoney Creek, DeSantis Homes released a Call to Artists and the winner of the exterior sculpture RFP, Beth Nybeck will soon showcase her rendition of coastal modern art as an entry feature to the building from the Lakeview Dr. and Fruitland Rd. entrance. Her abstract Corten Steel sculpture depicted in the image combines three cubes. “One large cube and two smaller cubes that are growing out of each other. This sculpture is inspired by family and community… There is an interconnectedness that we have with each other, that is visible through this sculpture.” states the artist. A great perspective for a new community of neighbours. The artwork is scaled for human interaction and engagement, which DeSantis Homes believes to be the heart of any new Condo Community.

Where: Future site- CoMo Condos in Stoney Creek, Hamilton 
Artist: Beth Nybeck

With CoMo Condos released in 2019 and local art as the inspiration for its coastal modern vibe, the forthcoming community Muse Condos flourished in its path in 2021. Muse Condos not only encompasses what the Hamilton art scene portrays but allows for passersby to enjoy the custom sculpture which will cover a portion of the south façade of the building facing the QEW.  Not only is the exterior draped in artistry but the interior amenities really fortify the appreciation for local art. Muse Condos incorporates  an Art Gallery, a first of its kind amenity, it can also be viewed as an outlet to become inspired!  Between the Party Room, Chefs Kitchen and dining facilities this gallery space allows homeowners to explore their passions and creativity. There’s also the Studio which grants you the opportunity to dance, paint or create greenscreen content; basically the ultimate platform for all content creation.

Where:  Future site- Muse Condos in Stoney Creek, Hamilton
Artist: Ralph Russo

Where:  Future site- Muse Condos in Stoney Creek, Hamilton

Each DeSantis Homes Condo development implements a piece of art that encapsulates the essence of community. We encourage you to keep your eye open and let yourself be emerged in the beauty of art.

For all upcoming communities visit www.desantishomes.com

Related Posts