Our permanent art collection has been a labour of love since we first opened our doors.
From Drake’s inception, promoting and sharing art has been integral to our vision, and over the last few years we’ve had the pleasure of working directly with extraordinary artists to develop site-specific installations throughout all our venues. Expect to see works that range from spare conceptual installations to site-specific murals to kinetic sculptures.
The collection is grounded in contemporary Canadian art and augmented with select works by artists outside of Canada to create an international context for the collection.
Featured artists include:
You may have noticed something different on your nighttime walk along West Queen West. It could be because The Drake Hotel’s Sky Yard has got a new night light. Brooklyn-based artist Jason Peters’, Never What It Seems took shape in the fall and will call the Sky Yard home for seasons ahead. The snaking, winding structure, made of hundreds of 2-gallon buckets, is lit from within creating a magical + extraordinary new view. The Drake Hotel’s rooftop gives us an exciting opportunity to create playful environments that invite guests to revel in something they haven’t seen before – and we hope you’ll love it as much as we do!
(Sky Yard stairs) Evan Penny, BACK OF KELLY, V.2, 2005, silicone, pigment, hair, fabric and aluminum, 84 x 62 x 15 cm/33 x 24.5 x 6 in
South African-born Evan Penny (b. 1953) is currently living in and working out of Toronto, and is celebrated internationally for his hyper-realistic work. As you descend down the stairs towards the restaurant, you will find The back of Kelly facing away from your gaze. Descending further you will notice that despite the anatomical accuracy of the bust, the sculpture has no face and is completely flat at the front. Penny’s unique and detail-oriented work is inspired by the 2D aesthetic of a photograph. His sculptures are an optical illusion, breaking the boundaries between 3-dimensional sculpture and 2-dimensional image.
Penny taught in several universities around Canada and Chicago. His work was chosen to be a part of public collections in galleries including National Gallery of Canada, Columbus Museum of Arts, Hudson Valley Center of Contemporary Art , Art Gallery of Ontario and more.
(SkyYard East Wall) INSA - I Would Die 4 U, 2016, Site specific mural, aerosol paint, 2.6 x 10 meters
Generously supported by Perrier Canada
This UK-born artist pays homage to the recently deceased and forever loved Prince, by creating an outdoor mural on our Sky yard. Originally trained in painting, INSA felt the limitations of having his work constrained to a canvas, pushing him towards pursuing street art. To push his work even further, INSA created a personal app called GIF-ITI which allows him to animate his work. INSA’s process consists of repainting his murals with slight changes and recording each layer as a frame. The digital merge, with his stunning graffiti work put INSA on a global scale. His latest project, in collaboration with Netflix, consists of painting a 24 frame mural throughout 8 different countries, creating the world’s first Global Gif. See the doves take flight through your phones up on our patio!
INSA’s collaborations include Kangol, Oki-Ni and NIKE. His work made covers for cult print magazines including Juxtapoz, Graphotism and VNA.
(Dining Room stairs) Shary Boyle, Jan of Finland, 2005, oil on panel, 22 x 18 in/55.5 x 45 cm
Shary Boyle (b. 1972, Scarborough) is one of the most celebrated Toronto-based artists, having represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 2013. Boyle’s work is an eclectic mix of porcelain sculpture, painting and projection based installation. Much of her work captures elements of the grotesque in a fairy tale-like world, as she explores the themes of gender and class. Jen of Finland possesses a slightly unsettling characteristic - a gloomy looking youthful figure on a lonely blue background catches your gaze as you make your way down the stairs towards the restaurant.
Boyle is a multi-award winner, including Canada Arts Council award, OAAG Art Publication Award for The Illuminations Project and Fleck Fellowship Award.
Laurie Simmons, Red Head/Red Dress/Selfie, 2014, pigment print, 5/5, 28 ¾ X 20 in/73 X 50.8 cm
Laurie Simmons (b.1949, NY) is a New York based feminist photographer and film maker who is a part of the Pictures Generation alongside Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger. Simmons’ work is bold, humorous and often grotesque. Over the courses of her career, Simmons’ oeuvre explores the way consumerism and domestication shape identity. Her latest tongue-in-cheek work features cos-play inspired series of doll photographs. Red Head/ Red Dress/ selfie is a confronting portrait of a real-life doll that you won’t miss as you descend down the stairs towards the North Lounge.
Simmons’ work is a part of the permanent collection at museums including The Whitney, Guggenheim, MoMA and Museum of Contemporary Art (LA). Her honors include the Guggenheim Fellowship, Brooklyn Museum, Women in the Arts, and more.