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.