Waterville Public Art Program is a collaborative initiative of Waterville Creates and the City of Waterville. The Waterville Public Art Program’s mission is to enhance the city’s public spaces, to capitalize on Waterville’s reputation as a center for arts and culture, and to further establish Waterville as a vibrant place to live and work through the thoughtful and intentional curation, maintenance, and promotion of a diverse public art collection. In 2022, the Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) was established to oversee the Waterville Public Art Program by advising the City Council on public art acquisitions, installations, and loans, working with private property owners to identify opportunities for public art, and reviewing and recommending public art projects for implementation.
Jesse Salibury, Riverstone
River Stone is a sculptural piece created from a single 3-ton granite glacial erratic boulder similar in shape and surface texture to stones found in rivers that have been worn smooth by water, ice, and time. The approximately 6′ tall stone is split to create two halves of a large, oval, egg-shaped form which create two seating spaces. The forms removed from the inside of the stone form a table that is placed between the two seating areas. Rivers and rocks are often metaphors for time and change. Salisbury’s sculpture style mimics the effects of water and natural forces on stone, thus creating a sculptural still life of geological time. By dividing and manipulating the forms, Salisbury makes a space that people flow through and around. River Stone was purchased by the city of Waterville and is located along the Riverwalk at the Head of Falls.
In 2017, Waterville Creates Public Art Task Group worked with Maine wheat paste artist Kerstin Gilg to select local artists to install 10 large-scale temporary wheat paste and paper artworks on historically significant landmarks in the downtown Waterville area. Artists were invited to work with pre-selected historic photographs and iconic images of Waterville, including the Hathaway Man and the Two Cent Bridge, and were encouraged to reinterpret, manipulate, and recreate the imagery in a way that reflects their perceptions of Waterville.
Waterville Creates provides art kits, instructions, materials, and more to all who are interested. Take a look at the resources library and get started on your next project!