Saying goodbye to a beloved sculpture

Mahihkan, the larger-than-life and much-beloved sculpture of a wolf by Saskatchewan artist Joe Fafard, will be leaving McGill by mid-summer. Originally installed on lower campus for the Balade Pour La Paix, an open-air museum that spanned one kilometre of Sherbrooke Street last summer, Mahihkan, together with Jonathan Borofsky’s Human Structures, remained on loan to the McGill Visual Arts Collection thanks in part to the support of the Monk Family Foundation.

Joe Fafard, Mahihkan, cast 2016. On loan from Fafard Sculpture Inc. Photo: Denis Farley.

While we must say goodbye to Mahihkan, Borofsky’s brightly coloured human pyramid will stay a while longer. Centering on themes of community and the individual’s relationship to their environment, both sculptures have been especially suited to display on a University campus. Together, they have attracted tremendous attention, especially on social media; in countless Instagram posts, groups of friends playfully pose amid the steel bodies in Borofsky’s work, while children and pets keep Mahihkan company. The popularity of Mahihkan and Human Structures is a testament to the value of public art installations and the creativity they inspire in those who interact with them.

Jonathan Borofsky, Human Structures, 2010. On loan from the Vancouver Biennale. Photo: Denis Farley.

If you have not had a chance to see both installations up-close, do so now! Come by anytime or, better yet, join a free, guided tour of the Visual Arts Collection’s public art every Wednesday at noon. Tours leave from the Welcome Centre on McTavish. Reservations are not required.

-Written by Tara Allen-Flanagan, ARIA Intern, Visual Arts Collection

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