By Natalie Anderson
SALISBURY — A total of 21 sculptures featuring familiar artists across the Eastern U.S. now have temporary homes across downtown and throughout the community.
The 2021 Salisbury Sculpture Show began in May and will last until April 2022. Members of the Public Art Committee selected each piece and strategically placed them across downtown as well as at the three local colleges, Novant Health and Trinity Oaks. The first stop on the full tour begins at the Visitor’s Center at 204 E. Innes St. An audio guide with artists’ discussion of their work can be heard by downloading the Otocast application on Apple or Android devices.
On the way in or out of town, the committee recommends viewing “Salisbury Foursome,” a four-piece sculpture installed in each quadrant of the Interstate 85’s exit 76.
“Sunrise, Sunset” by Jordan Parah, owner of Parahdise Sculpture LLC, can be viewed at St. John’s Lutheran Church on West Innes Street. Like the namesake, the piece is inspired by colors found in the sunrise and sunset. The sculpture is made of steel contrasting shapes welded together.
Parah is also the artist who created “Candle in the Wind,” featured at Trinity Oaks on Klumac Road. The colors, shapes and sand markings are meant to represent the flame, as well as movement and its ever-changing form.
A recycled steel piece can be found at the Rowan Public Library. There, a piece called “Hebe (Goddess of Youth)” was sculpted by musician and award-winning sculptor Wayne Vaughn.
Vaughn is also the artist of “Visonaire II,” another piece located at the Rowan Public Library.
At St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on West Council Street stands a piece called “COLLECTS” by Charlotte-based Silo AR+D. The architecture, research and design firm is operated by artists Marc Manack and Frank Jacobus.
“COLLECTS is a community of forms and symbols that interact to resemble characters in a unique language. The sculptural totem is fabricated from reclaimed cedar carved with a subtle bas relief,” the firm says of its piece. “COLLECTS is a collaboration between SILO AR+D and the Fab Lab at UNC Charlotte.”
Three of the pieces selected for 2021 also were first featured in 2020, including “American Buffalo” at Rowan Museum on North Main Street, a bust commemorating women’s suffragist “Lizzie Crozier French” at City Hall and “Cloud Deer” at the Salisbury Depot.
“American Buffalo,” created by local artist Russell Foster, was rented an additional year in exchange for ownership, said Urban Design Planner Alyssa Nelson. It’s made of recycled materials, scrap metal, old Harley-Davidson gas tanks, farm equipment, horse shoes, chains and car parts.
At City Hall, artist Mary Ruden’s bronze-resin bust depicts French around 1869. French was state chair of the National Woman’s Party to ratify the 19th Amendment, and co-founded educational institutions for women. Ruden is also known for her focus on art restoration.
“Cloud Deer” by Jonathan Bowling is a “larger-than-life jaunty buck” made from repurposed steel.
Additionally, the Farmers Market Pavilion in the Rail Walk Arts District gained a spot in the show for this year. Artist Charles Pilkey describes his piece “Urban Man” as a metaphor for the “primitive past still living inside us.”
“We live within the trappings of technological civilization, yet are genetically no different than our primitive forebears,” Pilkey says. “Our intelligence, social structures, even our art-making proclivities are evolutionary gifts granted us as hunter-gatherers on the plains of Africa.”
“Etain and her Dog” is a piece by artist Jim Collins made of powder-coated and painted aluminum, steel and cast iron. It’s one in a series called “The Wooing of Etain” about a legendary ancient Irish love story of Midir and Etain. Collins said he’s worked on the series over the last four years, which now has at least 40 pieces of mixed media collage and sculptures. His piece can be found on Easy Street downtown.
Collins also created “Bicycle Built for Two,” a powder-coated stainless steel piece featured at Trinity Oaks on Klumac Road. The sculpture pays homage to a “new green revelation to travel” amidst more bike lanes and trails being added to city landscapes. Collins’ work has also been exhibited in Ireland.
“Celestial Motion,” located on North Jackson Street at the Water Plant Lab, is an abstract painted steel piece featuring a half-circular form that can be interpreted as the sun rising or setting, as well as the Milky Way galaxy. The horizontal and vertical lines express artist Hanna Jubran’s feelings about nature, the seasons and the cycle of life.
“My work addresses the concept of time, movement, balance and space,” Jubran said in a statement about her piece. “Each sculpture occupies and creates its own reality influenced by its immediate surroundings.”
Jubran is also the artist of “In Motion,” a piece featured at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center on Mocksville Avenue. The piece depicts objects in motion, signifying a continuous change in positions and configuration of a person. The three linear forms are intended to provide a sense of moment in time that expresses interplay of forms, shapes and colors.
Artist Katlyn Cornellius, or TuxedoCat, created a piece placed at Livingstone College called “The Baby BookMark,” which features a mosaic of naturally indigo-colored glass collected from a renovated mill in Concord. The glass was formed into panels, and an internal light design depicts a double helix that changes colors.
Another Livingstone College piece is called “Rise” by Ohio-based artist Jim Weitzel. Featuring copper wings, Weitzel said the piece speaks to the idea of “rising above our station, social economic status and, most of all, our spiritual roadblocks in order to become better versions of ourselves.”
A piece called “Gold Leaf” by New York City-based artist Richard Pitts can be found at the F&M Trolley Barn on East Liberty Street. Pitts says the piece is dominated by yellow, like the sun, and is mean to project in all directions. It insinuates a special value, such as a “visual equivalent for the search and choice of a miracle,” he added.
Pitts is also responsible for “Pages” at Catawba College, which is intended to “ready the imagination for a clean slate, a new page,” whether personal or objective.
Also at Catawba College is “Love bound with Claws” by Paris Alexander. Alexander’s work has been exhibited in collections for Wake Med, Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, Saks Fifth Avenue, former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Bob Dole and former Gov. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska. Alexander’s works can also be found across Canada, England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria and Japan.
At Lee Street Theatre, “Crimson Arcs” by Matt Amante focuses on balance and movement “with the repetition of a similar form.”
“Two-Wheeled Freedom” by self-taught artist and welder Jason Morris features scrap metal, motorcycle pipes and chains and a napkin ring to depict the freedom felt when riding on two wheels. It’s located at New Sarum Brewing on North Lee Street.
Lastly, a piece called “Key Winds” by Adam Walls can be found at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
Currently, all sculptures are for purchase. To see if one is still available, email [email protected]
Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.