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The Public Arts Commission (PAC) was formed in 2003 to celebrate the City’s history and culture through public art in the downtown. As an initial project, the PAC conceived the History and Art Trail – a series of bronze markers to commemorate notable people, places and events that have shaped the City’s heritage. Twenty markers have been installed, with another twenty in the planning stage.

In 2008, a sculptor who had recently relocated to Salisbury suggested we host a temporary sculpture show to attract a broader audience for arts and cultural tourism. Now in its ninth year, the show has a strong following among residents, visitors and exhibiting sculptors. Originally just in the downtown area, the show has expanded to local colleges and the busy Exit 76 interchange at I-85. As a result of the PAC’s efforts, the City has added thirteen permanent sculptures through public and private acquisition. In addition, two new major installations now celebrate significant events in local history.

Citing the overall contribution the sculpture show makes to the Salisbury community, the show recently received both the US Conference of Mayors City Livability Award and the Centralina Council of Governments Region of Excellence Improving Quality of Life Award. Future PAC goals include additional major permanent sculpture installations to celebrate Salisbury’s past, present and future for generations to come. The PAC embraces opportunities to work together with individuals of all ages and backgrounds, as it strives to make art accessible to all.

Yellow sculpture in park

Salisbury Sculpture Show

This show features local and regional artist sculptures in prominent outdoor locations through downtown Salisbury and local colleges.

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Salisbury Fire Department 200 year anniversary plaque

History and Art Trail

This trail includes a series of bronze markers to commemorate notable people, places and events that have shaped the City’s heritage.

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Artwork entries for project

Paint The Pavement

The Salisbury Public Arts Commission invited artists of all ages and skillsets to submit their best designs for one of five crosswalks in the Railwalk Arts District. Artists will install their winning designs during the weekend of September 23 at the following crosswalks: Kerr and Lee Streets, and the crosswalk at Lee Street Theater and the Farmer’s Market Pavilion. Materials are provided by the Public Arts Commission, and the project is made possible through a Rowan Arts Council grant.

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Sculpture in Hogan's Alley

Art in Alleyways

In 2020 the Public Arts Commission received grant funding to go towards alley improvements and art installations in downtown Salisbury. This is a partnership project with DSI’s Master Plan Committee, the Community Appearance Commission, and the SPAC. Alley improvement location and project scope currently in the works.

close-up of Smoke and steel mural

Smoke & Steel

Local Salisbury artist Robert Crum was commissioned to create Smoke & Steel, a 110’ x 5.5’ mosaic mural on a blank wall in the 100 block of Depot Street. The project took six and a half months to complete, and is made up of over 100,000 pieces of one inch porcelain tiles. When the project was completed, Robert Crum received awards for this mural from the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Historic Salisbury Foundation.

close up of Cotton Mills Corner

Cotton Mills Corner

The property at this corner of Church and Fisher Street was the location of a three-week revival that in 1887 initiated the textile industry in Rowan County. The SPAC designed a bronze history marker for the site and saw an opportunity to further improve the corner with the creative talents of local school children. This project was in partnership with Waterworks Visual Arts Center and Rowan-Salisbury Schools. Brick from Kesler Cotton Mill was used in the construction of the wall.

Contact Us

Staff Liaison

Alyssa Nelson
(704) 638-5235​

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To Purchase a Sculpture:

All sculptures are for purchase. To see if a sculpture is still available, please send inquiries to

To host a sculpture, please contact

To Donate to Public Art in Salisbury:

Please send checks to:
Public Arts Commission
P.O. Box 479
Salisbury, NC 28145
(donations are tax deductible)

«June 2024»

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