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Arts centre expects ‘huge boost’ from Rob McElhenney ‘Titanic’ artwork

15 Apr 2024 4 minute read
The Rob McElhenney artwork that will be displayed in the gallery of the Ty Pawb arts centre

David Owens

A Wrexham venue has spoken of the ‘positive energy’ that Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have brought to the city after a ‘historic’ artwork was put on display.

Arts centre Tŷ Pawb revealed its joy at displaying the ‘Titanic’ drawing Ryan gifted to his co-chairman Rob for his birthday – and explained how it will boost visitor numbers and benefit the local community

The football club co-owners’ birthday pranks have become the stuff of legend. Who can forget the Ryan Rodney Reynolds Memorial Park, the Rob McElhenney urinal, or the Ryan Reynolds blimp?

On the weekend when their beloved football club achieved promotion to League One, there was a special surprise for Rob from Ryan.

In honour of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star’s 47th birthday, the anniversary of the Titanic sinking, and Wrexham’s promotion – Ryan shared a video featuring his latest prank.

“For his big day this year, I financed an expedition to the ocean floor to retrieve a few bottles of Wrexham Lager – which was actually on that maiden voyage – to use in an epic birthday toast,” the Deadpool star explained in the video, referencing the famed local beer brand.

“We searched and searched,” Ryan commented over footage of the underwater Titanic vessel. “And while unfortunately we didn’t find any drinkable Wrexham Lager, what we did find was even more beautiful…”

This is where the actor unveiled the true prank – a hand-drawn portrait of a shirtless Rob McElhenney that bears an uncanny resemblance to the nude drawing that Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack sketches for Kate Winslet’s Rose in the 1997 box office hit. Rob is even wearing the fictional Heart of the Ocean necklace that features in the film.

While a range of merchandise featuring the image is available through Wrexham sponsor Vistaprint, the artwork has now gone on display at Wrexham arts venue Tŷ Pawb, where it has already proved very popular on its first day being displayed.

Tŷ Pawb’s Creative Director Jo Marsh said: “Like the rest of Wrexham, we at Tŷ Pawb have been captivated by the transformative positive energy that Ryan and Rob have brought to our city.

“It’s so exciting for Tŷ Pawb to play a part in that story. We’ve watched the birthday surprises play out over the past couple of years, and we’re delighted we could help to make this one happen.

“The artwork will remain on display for the public opposite Tŷ Pawb’s reception for the foreseeable future. This is a huge boost for Tŷ Pawb in terms of attracting new audiences, and has already brought a wonderful spotlight to the talented artists currently exhibiting in our gallery.”

The bilingual description of the artwork

Councillor Hugh Jones, Lead Member Communities, Collaboration and Partnerships, added: “We are delighted that Tŷ Pawb has been chosen by Ryan Reynolds as the home of this birthday gift for his Wrexham AFC Co-Chairman Rob McElhenney.

“Their investment and commitment to the football club has brought so many positive benefits to our region, and it’s great to see Tŷ Pawb becoming a part of this wonderful and exciting story.

“I encourage everyone to visit Tŷ Pawb to view this work and to experience the two wonderful current exhibitions Clyde Holmes: ‘Uplandscapes’ and ‘Bom Dia Cymru’, both situated in the Gallery space.”

The artwork is displayed opposite Tŷ Pawb’s main reception desk and will be available to view during the building’s regular opening hours 9am-5pm, Monday to Saturday. The building is often open later for events – check their website for event info.

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