Penboscot Bay Press Compass Logo

Penobscot Bay Press
Community Information Services

News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, December 20, 2012
Castine to consider public art piece

Castine could be a recipient of a large granite sculpture created during the summer of 2014 at the Schoodic Education Research Center in Acadia National Park, according to a news release.

After receiving an inquiry from the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium to see whether Castine would be interested, a committee was formed and a non-binding letter of intent was sent to say that, “yes, the town would be very interested, not to mention excited, about this possibility.”

Started eight years ago by Jesse Salisbury, a sculptor from Steuben, the idea was to create a biennial cultural event, bringing together artists from all over the world to create sculpture from the local granite quarries and to give each piece to a town in Hancock and Washington counties. The mission of SISS has been to engage individuals and communities in public art, to allow visitors and students to come and watch the process free of charge, and to create a large public art collection in Downeast Maine. There are now 27 of these sculptures in towns stretching from Deer Isle to Eastport.

The Symposium during the summer of 2014 will be the final one, and only six sculptures will be created. This “last chance” opportunity has created broad interest for Castine becoming one of the towns to be chosen. To narrow the field, SISS conducts a public presentation to offer information and gauge public support and enthusiasm, takes a look at the potential sites in town that the committee has identified. As this will be a contemporary sculpture, no historically significant sites are contemplated by the committee. The only criterion is ‘accessible by the public’.

Should Castine be selected, a fundraising effort would follow. The committee is not asking the Town of Castine for any money or land, but will raise $12,000 from tax deductible contributions by private individuals. This amount represents only 25 percent of the entire cost of the sculpture and symposium. The remaining 75 percent is paid by SISS.

The committee will host this public program on Tuesday, January 8, at 4:30 p.m. in the BIW auditorium on the MMA campus and encourages as many people as possible to attend. Salisbury will be show slides from past symposia, talk about SISS and answer questions. Afterward, a 30-minute video, “Rock Solid,” which was filmed during the first symposium, will be shown. This DVD is also available at the Witherle Library. For further information, go to or contact Deborah Neve at