PORTLAND, Maine — Renowned sculptor Jesse Salisbury was aided by a team of construction workers and a crane Wednesday morning as his 6-ton granite artwork was put into place outside the baggage claim area at Portland International Jetport.
The 14-foot-tall sculpture was accepted into the city of Portland’s public collection by the City Council last month and is titled “Tidal Moon.” The piece is a gift from Mary Louise and William Hammill, who previously donated a series of steel wildlife sculptures — titled “Glimpse” — installed last fall on the airport grounds.
Salisbury, a Machias native, is well-known as the founder of Maine’s International Sculpture Symposium held in Schoodic.
“The use of Maine granite is intended to represent the bedrock in a constantly changing world. Since the Ice Age, granite boulders have been moved by glaciers and left in areas throughout Maine,” reads a city announcement of the piece, issued at the time of its acceptance by the council. “‘Tidal Moon’ sits on a massive base and has a presence of grandeur. The proposed location for the sculpture is just to the left of the walkway outside the baggage claim doors and near the waiting parking lot. Because of its massive size, the sculpture will be visible both from the drive along the roadway as well as the walkway to the parking garage. ‘Tidal Moon’ is comprised of two large split granite columns, which elevate a granite sphere reminiscent of a jewel in a pronged setting.”
Salisbury is a Colby College graduate who has participated in sculpture symposia in Japan, Egypt and New Zealand, as well as his home country of the United States. He was a featured artist for 2010 at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, according to the city announcement.