Public Art Walking Tour
The Public Art Walking Tour brochure documents the pieces of artwork currently on public display in Salisbury's Arts & Entertainment District.
Visitors can follow color-coded icons around a map of Downtown Salisbury, and can locate items by geographical location or follow different series. The tour includes sculptures, murals and painted electric utility boxes, giving brief descriptions along with artist name, title and date produced.
Due to COVID-19, brochures are not available for pick-up in the Downtown Salisbury Visitor Center, or the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce as originally planned. Instead users can request a printed version by mail by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Public Arts Walking Tour was funded in part by the Maryland State Arts Council - Thanks MSAC!
To download a pdf of the tour - click here.
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 Jones ,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.
In 2019, Dominique Ramsey was awarded a larger water utility box for her piece titled Big Yellow Cats - at the highly visible intersection of Route 50 & Mill Street.
In Summer 2020, another round of seven boxes was announced, with artwork to be completed this fall.
Bloom by Blaine Steiner is a three-part steel sculpture with multiple lighted cast glass elements designed to reference the growth of Downtown Salisbury in recent years. The sculpture is located along the bank of the Wicomico River, near the intersection of Circle Avenue and W. Market Street across from Market Street Inn in Downtown Salisbury
“The three elements of the sculpture tie together the present, past and future and speaks to the vitality of our City”, says artist Blaine Steiner. She continues to explain “as the sun moves across the sky, light will shine through the work and create dynamic shadows and the nature of the cast glass elements are such that the work will have a totally different feel depending on if its interacting with reflected or transmitted light, creating a dynamic, ever-changing work of art depending on time of day and season”. Blaine Steiner is a graduate of Salisbury University with a bachelor's degree in fine arts.
The project was funded in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council’s Public Art Program, and matched by the Salisbury Arts & Entertainment District, with in-kind support from Salisbury University.
Steel sculpture Project
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. Asclepius, was sponsored by the Peninsula Regional Medical Center, and it was installed on the Hospital’s Carroll Street entrance in 2011.
The series was continued by the City of Salisbury Mayor's Office in 2018, with the addition of A Day in Wicomico, a series of twenty-one steel panels cut to spell out Riverwalk Amphitheater, each unique with laser etched scenery from around the County. The series was designed by local artist Landon "Chase" Gilbert.
For more information on the Downtown Steel Sculpture project contact email@example.com
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.
Thank you MSAC! To discover more about the Maryland State Arts Council and how they impact Maryland, visit msac.org.