Jesse Salisbury headshot

Jesse Salisbury

Adjunct Instructor

Dept. :

    I grew up on the rural and rock-bound coast of Washington and Hancock county Maine and was influenced by this dynamic geology and natural beauty from an early age. I began carving wood with a local professional artist while in grammar school. Working directly with professional artists was a vital part of my artistic training.

    I began my formal artistic training in Japan. After graduating from High School I apprenticed with renowned traditional ceramic artists Ren and Mami Katayama and have returned many times to work and study with them. After graduating from college with a liberal arts education specializing in art and Asian culture with a focus on sculpture making, I traveled to study with a variety of artists in the US. The difficulty to learn traditional and contemporary carving techniques for granite and hard stones in the United States again led me to return to Japan in the late 1990’s to work with contemporary sculptors Katsumi Ida and Atsuo Okamoto and others. I worked as a professional assistant and translator at the Yonago International Sculpture Symposium in Tottori, Japan in 1998.

    After this experience, I began to build my studio on family land in my hometown of Steuben, Maine and experiment with the local stones available in the area. The next decade I dedicated to the creation of one of a kind stone sculptures in a variety of scales. I also began to travel as an invited artist to international sculpture symposia where I created sculptures for public art. Beginning in 2005 I founded the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium which organized the creation of sculptures by National and International artists for a public collection of 34 sculptures that spans three counties in Eastern Maine. As the founder and director, I guided all aspects of this ambitious project including building relationships and negotiating contracts with Acadia National Park, The University Of Maine, state government agencies, local nonprofit organizations, and more than 30 municipalities that partnered with the sculpture symposium to make the project a success. I continue to consult with other agencies on the East Coast and the Canadian Maritimes about organizing events to create public art. After a decade of developing my sculptures and founding a major public art event, I changed my focus to developing my own sculpture projects on a larger scale, and in the public realm, in projects that fuse landscape and art, and require collaboration, and efficiency.

    My current work and area of exploration are still influenced by the natural world including the way water wears away stone over time, the beauty and texture of a curved split stone, and the visual power of balanced weight on a large scale. I view my art practice as environmental art because I am creating environments and sculptural landscapes out of long-lasting natural materials that I hope can engage the viewer in the beauty, character, and innovation possible from common local materials.

    Jesse's website.