LUBEC, Maine — The Lost Fishermen’s Association will be working with internationally renowned sculptor Jesse Salisbury of Steuben in finalizing its plans for a wharf-side memorial park in downtown Lubec to honor area fisherman lost at sea in the waters of Cobscook Bay.
“Our initial mission was to build a memorial park to give some measure of comfort to the families of the 10 fishermen who were lost during a particularly short span, between 2006 and 2010,” said Dennis Corso, a Lubec sculptor who is an officer and board member of the nonprofit association. “Over time our mission has changed. The mission is now to honor all lost fishermen from both sides of the border who have worked the waters of Cobscook Bay”
Salisbury is the founder of the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium, which most recently was staged in Orono. He said Wednesday that he’s excited about being selected to create a sculpture for the project and to be able to contribute ideas for landscaping the seaside open space at Water and Johnson streets where it will be located.
“It’s a green space that is directly above the breakwater,” said Salisbury, who will serve as the project’s artistic director. “I’m intrigued by the site, which is literally the edge of America. Maybe that’s why people visiting Lubec seem to be drawn to it. Every time I’ve been there I’ve seen this endless stream of people who want to come see one of the most easternmost points in the United States.”
Corso said his association has been quietly raising money for the undertaking and now has $50,000 set aside. Until the group finalizes its site plan with Salisbury, the project’s ultimate budget remains a moving target, he said. The site is being provided to the association by the town of Lubec under a long-term, no-cost lease.
“The town seems pretty excited by it,” Corso said of the project.
The site is now marked by a memorial bench that commemorates the death of Machiasport fisherman Daryl Cline, 41, a crew member of the 34-foot sea urchin dragger “Bottom Buster,” which sank in Cobscook Bay on Oct. 20, 2009. Corso said the new park will include a memorial engraved with the names of men and women recently lost at sea while working in the challenging tidal waters off Lubec and New Brunswick’s Campobello Island.
Salisbury said he will use locally quarried granite in create his sculpture, doing the work both at his studio in Steuben and on-site in downtown Lubec.
“This is a significant project, and there’s a lot to be done in terms of planning,” he said.
A native of Steuben, Salisbury, 40, founded the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium is 2007. He also initiated an international sculpture symposium at the Round Top Center for the Arts in Damariscotta. His work is included in private and public art collections throughout the world, including the sculpture garden of the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.
For information about the Lubec project, visit www.lostfishermensmemorial.com.