UXBRIDGE: The Uxbridge Story in Stone sculpture unveiling ceremony kicked off the Juried Arts Show and Children’s Art Show, on September 19th, as a part of the annual Celebration of the Arts Festival.
The project has been over a year in the making, and was made possible through the Arts and Visual Enhancement Committee (AVEC) and generous donations within the community.
The stone structure shows a history of how early settlers first came to Uxbridge, cleared the land, built a water wheel to grow the town, replanted the cleared forests, and created the beautiful trails Canadians enjoy today.
The artist of the project, Fly Freeman told the Standard she has always been appreciative of the trails in Uxbridge, and the history behind how they were created.
“I always loved the trails around Uxbridge, and always really appreciated the fact they were replanted in the face of environmental degradation,” she said.
The stone structure is made from Indiana Limestone, and weighs close to 2500 pounds, according to Stuart Blower, AVEC chairmen.
“The nice thing about this particular material is, it has breathability to it. It doesn’t have the problem of getting wet, storing water, freezing in the winter, and breaking away,” Stuart said.
He added, that the structure should be able to withstand severe weather and will last for a very long time.
“The cap being put on the sculpture is a different form of limestone that has no velocity, so it will literally act as an umbrella and shed water away from it.”
The piece was worked on frequently by Fly, at the Uxbridge Historical Centre as a live demonstration, and she enjoyed her time at the museum.
“Working at the museum was lovely, I worked up on the hill there, so it looked out onto the town. It was quiet up there, but people could still come and see me, if they wanted to see what I was up too,” she said.
The project itself wouldn’t have been possible without all the community support, according to Fly.
Douglas Moffat and Saundra Reiner were instrumental in making this project possible, through their generous donation of $15,000.
As well, the Township of Uxbridge, Green Durham Association, Okwen Contracting, Uxbridge Historical Centre and Gordon Britton, were key in supporting the project.
“This was very much a community effort; the committee did a lot of work, so I could just carve,” Fly said.
Stuart is happy to see the artwork in front of the town’s municipal office, adding that the structure defines Town Hall as a major center.
Fly Freeman will be putting the finishing touches on the sculpture over the next few weeks, and hopes to be finished in October.