© 2016 Kacey  Martin

PUBLIC ART

HERON MURAL

 

The Heron Mural, located on the Route 50 side of City Center Building, is one of Downtown's oldest public works of art, and one of the most visible and iconic. 

The original mural, by local artist James Thatcher, endured for two decades but fell into disrepair.  Originally created in 1994 to commemorate the first New Year Eastern Shore celebration, the heron image was selected - which symbolizes prosperity and good fortune. The first mural became a sort of bereavement project for Thatcher – who had recently lost his wife to cancer – and other families served by Coastal Hospice who had recently lost loved ones. The project was funded through a special program sponsored by Days Inn that promoted use of buildings for artistic expression along major highways.

In 2013, The Salisbury Arts & Entertainment District again contacted the now national artist James Thatcher to return an important artwork to Salisbury’s Downtown Historic/Arts & Entertainment District.  Funds were raised through crowd-sourcing and private donations - to bring the re-imagined heron mural back to Downtown Salisbury. 

 

The grand unveiling took place during October 3rd Friday in 2013, and coincided with a gallery show hosted by the Art Institute and Gallery (now known as Salisbury Art Space), that featured more of James Thatchers work, and other area artists. 

 

Metalwork sculptures

The Downtown Steel Sculpture Project was begun in 2001, as a part of a larger revitalization effort, as a subcommittee of Urban Salisbury. The public art project has been ongoing, bringing together the vision, talent, and generosity of many private and public community members. 

Each sculpture is a unique piece of art commissioned by an individual, institution or corporate sponsor.  Members of the art department at Salisbury University and UMES work to select students to design the sculptures based on the sponsor’s request.  The design is transferred to a computerized drafting program and cut out of a steel plate by a digital laser cutter at MaTech, Inc. 

Next, the metal cutout is welded to a frame at R.D. Grier and Sons and then the City of Salisbury installs the sculpture at a site selected by the committee and the sponsor.  To cap off the project, Parkside High School students manufacture the aluminum plaque that identifies the artist, sponsors, and year. 

The first group of four sculptures entitled:  Heron, Crab, Goose and Sailboat, were installed on Route 13 near Main Street as part of the State Highway Administration’s expansion project in 2003. 

The second group of three sculptures, Rooster, Crow, and Cris & Skipper were sponsored by Perdue Farms, MaTech, Inc and the Bull & Judy Hearne family.  They were installed along Carroll Street in 2007.

The next two sculptures, Richard A Henson and Marlin, sponsored by the Henson Foundation and by the Bill & Judy Hearne family were installed along Carroll Street in 2010.  The most recent sculpture to date, Asclepius, was sponsored by the Peninsula Regional Medical Center, and it was installed on the Hospital’s Carroll Street entrance. 

For more information on the Downtown Steel Sculpture project contact salisburyartsdistrict@gmail.com

 

electric UTILITY boxes

The painting of electrical boxes in Downtown Salisbury is an ongoing project of the Salisbury Arts & Entertainment Public Arts Subcommittee, and was initiated though partnerships with Delmarva Veteran Builders and Delmarva Power. 

 

With Delmarva Power’s permission, the Salisbury A&E District's Public Art Subcommittee selects and compensates local artists to transform power boxes in Downtown Salisbury into works of art. 

So far a total of 20 electric utility boxes have been identified in Downtown Salisbury with potential to be transformed.  The District is soliciting local artists to submit proposals to paint and beautify them. So far the project has transformed 7 of the  drab metal boxes into bright works of art for all to enjoy.  Local participating artists include Doug Draper, Jr., Michel Demanche, Helene English, Ashley Brown ,Roni Jones, Clark Derbes and Dana Simpson. 

 

In Spring 2018, another 5 boxes were awarded - to be completed ahead of the National Folk Festival, coming to Downtown Salisbury in September 2018.  The five winning submissions belonged to local artists Brandon Bell, Courtney Geiser, David Gladden, Marley Parsons and Zanna La.  Special thanks to Devreco, LLC and the City of Salisbury for helping make funding for this project possible.  

For more information on the electrical box project contact salisburyartsdistrict@gmail.com