Art is for the people.

But sometimes, the art is by the people.

This is exactly what Daphne Mennell has in mind for her art installation outside of the Public Safety Building in Whitehorse.

When completed, it will be a horse rearing up, its tail roiling with the rapids from which our capital city got its name.

I love it.

“Fleshing out” the armature will be metal she collects from Yukoners – metal that has a story behind each piece.

I love it even more.

This is a way for each of us to place our stamp on this city … in this place, at this time. It will be a snapshot of our memories and feelings that make us, us.

Ms. Mennell is asking each of us to find a piece of metal that is no larger than a piece of paper and is ferrous (I didn’t have my dictionary with me when we had coffee to discuss it, so she explained that this is metal that contains iron … you can tell because a magnet will stick to it).

Once we find this special piece of metal in our lives, we are to write out the story behind it and then drop it off at one of 16 locations in the Yukon. Just see our Highlights Page where we have given her free advertising for this fun and worthwhile project.

I am now going to leave my desk to find my own piece of storied metal …

… I’m back. I scoured the house and the shed and returned to my desk, only to find it here under my nose: a slinky.

This slinky has always been on my desk. It helps me think … somehow. And, when my children were younger, they would play with it, making it the only thing they found interesting about my job.

It will be difficult to not have it anymore. But that’s the idea, isn’t it? We must share something that is close to us — a part of us – to make it worthy of this community “time capsule”.

As per the instructions, I will now write up a brief description of what it is and why it is important, place the slinky and note in a bag, and drop it off at Whitehorse City Hall or Raven Recycling.

Fifty years from now, I will return to the Whitehorse Horse and, with the help of my bionic eyes, I will find the slinky and reminisce about the days I wrote stories about Yukoners.

Ms. Mennell hopes to have a couple of thousand pieces; that’s a couple of thousand stories that will be told. To make it easier, she will create a website that will pull up the stories when a cursor hovers over a piece.

But you can read some of these stories starting today: What’s Up Yukon will be printing one story in each issue from now until the the sculpture is completed.

In this issue, you can read about Lloyd Ryder’s green, metal stand that he used for a variety of purposes as a bush pilot.

Next week, you can read about Rob McClure’s metal cooking grill. It’s an artifact found along a long-forgotten trail around Riverdale.

These pieces, these stories, will be on display forever at the top of Two Mile Hill, along with my slinky and my story.

Please join us.