Art is where the heart is

March 15, 2021

Our thoughts on incorporating art and design into our communities

Portland, Oregon

This last year’s requirement of staying close to home has put all of our living quarters under the microscope, and in turn, spurred a frenzy of home improvement projects. From cleaning out closets to finally recovering that chair, people have turned their attention to prettying their nests like never before. Even “non-essentials” like art have seen a surge in sales. Comparing March-December 2020 to the same nine months in 2019, Etsy reported:

  • A 95% increase in searches for for wall art
  • An 80% increase in searches for stained glass window or wall hangings
  • A 46% increase in searches for sculpture (Source: SF Chronicle 2/23/21)

This begs the question: why would people be purchasing art in the middle of a pandemic, during an economic recession?

The answer is as old as time, yet we often forget it: in short, art moves people. Art can soothe the soul, quicken the heart, and make one think. Its power has been known throughout the ages — from the iconic architecture of ancient Greece to the vibrant ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, art was originally intended to be consumed by the masses. Statuary was positioned in the middle of the public square and almost every piece of pottery was painted with a familiar story or myth. Yet, in recent years, we’ve come to think of art as inaccessible, a status symbol, only for the rich, or for museums or big cities. In reality, art should belong to all of us

Geopsychologist Colin Ellard has studied the effect of stimuli (including art) on the brain, and found that, not surprisingly, stimuli (lively storefronts, flowers along sidewalks, public art), make people feel engaged and happy, whereas a lack of stimuli (rows of cubicles, large empty parking lots, blank walls) makes us feel sad, bored, and even stressed. Art engages us at a core physiological level, and in short, makes us feel better.

We believe art belongs everywhere and to everyone — in cities and in the suburbs, in unexpected corners, and in surprising ways. As real estate investors, we’re making 2021 the year we invest in art for our residents. We’re developing a plan to insert intentional, thoughtful, fun pieces of art that will make the daily lives of anyone who engages our properties a little brighter. From wall murals to sculptures to landscaping, we believe a little investment in ART will go a long way and we can’t wait to share what we are creating. Stay tuned for the first pieces to be showcased in late spring 2021.


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