Jesse Salisbury | Sculptor

The first time Jesse Salisbury picked up a chisel, he knew he had found his calling. While Salisbury had always been interested in art and studied a variety of forms and media, he kept coming back to sculpture. The challenge of working with hard stone held his interest in ways that other mediums couldn’t. “Soon after I started carving granite and hard stones, I became fascinated with the various characteristics of the material,” he says. Through his work he began to explore the inherent qualities of the material, such as the contrast between the weathered exterior of a stone and the deep interior coloring and crystal structure. He finds inspiration in Maine’s vast rocky coastline, weathered boulders, and abandoned quarries, but also in working with others. Salisbury founded the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium, which has organized five international stone sculpture symposia starting in 2007. The organization, local communities, and invited artists also created and installed 34 public works of art across three counties, forming the Maine Sculpture Trail: a 200-mile outdoor exhibition of stone carvings. This year the organization will be sponsoring a sculptor from Japan, and it continues to explore ways of collaborating, both by bringing more artists to Maine and by helping Maine artists work internationally. “I really enjoy making public art projects because of the variety of skills needed to make a large project come together,” says Salisbury. Often, it takes years to complete large-scale projects, but from collaboration with stakeholders to designing, planning, and the physical labor that goes into creating a sculpture, Salisbury loves every step of the way.

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