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Local Uxbridge artists pitch tornado-themed sculpture


DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard

UXBRIDGE: A trio of local artists recently appeared before council with an ambitious plan to replace a public art installation destroyed in last year's tornado.

On Monday, July 10th, local artists Fly Freeman, Frances Muscat and Mark Puigmarti appeared before council to provide background details for their proposed sculpture. The three explained the new sculpture would be installed at the corner of Main Street North and Toronto Street North. It would replace a 2010 piece by renowned Uxbridge artist Wynn Walters, which was destroyed during the Tornado, in May of 2022.

As described by the artists, the sculpture would be composed of metal, wood and stained glass elements. The stained glass would be protected from the elements with mesh, and as Mr. Muscat explained, "would be an important element to recognize the damage done to Trinity United Church," which is located nearby the installation site.

"This is a great opportunity to put back an art piece that has been lost in this community," Ms. Freeman commented, adding the sculpture also includes plans to feature elements from the community which were damaged in the tornado. This would potentially include signage from the Second Wedge Brewery, which was recovered from a neighbouring garden in the aftermath of the storm.

Councillors were enthusiastic about the proposal. "This is a really great idea," commented Ward 1 Councillor Pam Beach. "It tells a story from our own recent history and sparks curiosity and creativity."

The proposal was referred to staff for a report, with Mayor Dave Barton noting that projects of this nature typically involve several different departments offering input, including finance, public works and parks, recreation and culture.

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