'Wings of YXE': Saskatoon man's art on display around city

'Wings of YXE': Saskatoon man's art on display around city

You may have noticed colourful sets of wooden wings on display around Saskatoon.

The man behind the public art project is Loch Willy – and his goal is simple.

“Just make people smile,” he said.

It was after a road trip with his daughter when Willy tapped into his creative side.

“She took hundreds of pictures and I wanted to create some frames that went with it,” he explained.

He searched YouTube for inspiration and that’s when he came across the idea of the wings.

Willy started crafting his first set earlier this year. Now he has six – five of which are placed at various businesses across the city.

Wings on display outside Taverna in downtown Saskatoon.

Devon Latchuk / Global News

“It’s infectious – people want to see these wings and have them and host them,” he said. “It’s quite an honour really.”

Jerry’s Food Emporium on Grosvenor Avenue in Saskatoon is one of the businesses with a set of wings out front.

Loch Willy puts up a set of wings in front of Jerry’s Food Emporium.

Phillip Bollman / Global News

Marketing manager Amanda Propp first noticed the creations on Instagram. She knew right away it was something she wanted to be a part of and contacted Willy to host a pair.

“I love how it’s colourful – I love how it’s fun,” Propp said. “The fact that he wants to make people smile and just really wants to inject a positive experience into your day.”

For Willy, it’s just a hobby – but he grew up working with wood and has even helped build homes.

Professionally, he runs his own business as an Indigenous relations consultant in the oil and gas sector – he said lately things have been slow, leaving him with a bit more spare time.

Creating each set of wings can take up to 50 hours according to Willy, but he doesn’t charge a thing.

“There’s no catch to it – just hey, here’s some wings go out, smile, make a memory – that’s just kind of been lost lately,” Willy said.

So far, he noted, the wings are seemingly fulfilling their purpose.

“The direct messages I’ve gotten on Instagram from people with the wings – every time I get one it makes my day,” he said.

City Perks hosts a set of wings.

Devon Latchuk / Global News

“When I was looking at the wings I just thought ‘yeah he did it – I feel happy,'” Propp said.

Willy’s hope is to have them all around town, changing up the location every few weeks.

He mentioned he’s already started on his next idea – making mini versions.