Pipe Man saga comes to an end in Huntsville
Photo: The Pipe Man installation. Supplied by Taylor Ablett.
Pipe Man is officially returning to where he came from. At today’s council meeting the owner of Pipefusion, which donated the art, Jan Nyquist and the artist Beverley Hawksley asked the town to return the floating structure back to them.
Nyquist says he isn’t willing to hold a public forum to find a new location for Pipe Man, which was discussed when the decision was made to remove it from the Muskoka River in October. He says that would be offensive, as it was specifically built for that location.
Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison says he was sad to see this day arrive, but understands how Nyquist feels about the situation. He also notes that he would like to see the conversation of public art continue in the community.
During the meeting, Aitchison also issued a public apology to Nyquist. He says he made a lot of mistakes in how the project was rolled out, and how it was ended.
Nyquist donated the $50,000 Pipe Man sculpture to the town last year, in honour of artist Tom Thomson. Nyquist also covered the cost to have the sculpture installed in the water, and then taken out. The town conducted a survey on the installation over the summer after many negative comments were made. Out of the 1,300 responses, 90 per cent either didn’t like the location or the structure itself.
Nyquist says he has no current plans for the future of Pipe Man, but did say he may rise again.
Pipe Man will be looking for a new home in Huntsville