Local artist working on Wolverine statue to commemorate character’s birth place.
Cold Lake artist, Elysee Franchuk, is in the process of constructing Cold Lake’s other monster, Wolverine. The statue will have an artistic spin which reflects the Cold Lake area and the artist’s style. Wolverine’s birthplace can be traced back to Cold Lake, Alberta thanks to Marvel Publishers. Franchuk says, “I believe having an installation of Wolverine in Cold Lake is paramount to Cold Lake’s history because of its ties to the Marvel universe. Bringing Wolverine to Cold Lake after all these years seems like an historical event that has been delayed for too long. I wanted to start this process for Cold Lake as no one else has taken the initiative in the past.” Franchuk is getting together a team and contacting Marvel to make this sculpture a reality.
Franchuk discussed his idea with Cold Lake artist Jim Belliveau. “Elysee brought me in for the initial brainstorming. It was one of those ‘why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?’ moments. I’ve known him for about 2 years now, and his progress as an artist and concept developer has been meteoric. He has an unbridled imagination, which seeks out the unusual, but he’s not afraid to reflect a bit of his community in his work. This concept is a natural for him. It needs some off the page, outside the lines thinking”.
The Wolverine statute could be Cold Lake’s ‘big thing’ town mascot. Belliveau believes it would draw tourists and be a way for the community to stand up and say who they are. He adds, “This fictitious identity as a comic book character’s birthplace is something that was foisted upon us, so why not run with it? The difference here is not so much that the Wolverine character is relatively contemporary, but in the hands of Elysee, it can become something which transcends the immediate and the obvious. It’s a unique opportunity to meld fiction and cultural touchstones. We don’t know the future of the character Wolverine in popular culture, but it’s a wonderful opportunity to finally stick our collective necks out, proudly build something on a hill somewhere and tell the world that whether you are real or imagined… having Cold Lake in your DNA is a special thing indeed.” Franchuk’s next step will be contacting Marvel but Franchuk and Belliveau would also like to see the City of Cold Lake, and some like-minded, forward thinking corporate sponsors to weigh in.