'Sentinel No. 2' stands watch in Salisbury after sculpture dedication

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Showing off its gleaming metal, straightforward geometry and sheer size, “Sentinel No. 2” now stands on permanent watch at East Fisher and South Lee streets.
“For an artist, it’s always good to have your work out in public,” said Sentinel’s creator, Salisbury sculptor Michael Baker.
“… I’ve always been fond of the piece.”
As were Ed and Susan Norvell. The couple recently paid $10,000 for the sculpture and immediately turned around and donated it to the city of Salisbury.
Sentinel returned to the spot where it had stood, on loan from Baker, for six months last year.
City officials, the arts community and downtown stakeholders officially dedicated the sculpture Tuesday afternoon.
“We’re just tickled to be a part of this,” Ed Norvell said, adding he and his wife hope it’s the start of many more public art pieces becoming part of the downtown landscape.
Baker said when the piece returned to his studio last year, “people really missed it.” They wanted it back at the pocket park off East Fisher Street.
“It makes you feel great,” Baker said of the sentiment.
The Norvells made its triumphant return possible.
The Public Art Committee, born from the Community Appearance Commission and Downtown Salisbury Inc., has been working hard in recent years to establish a History and Art Trail. Tuesday’s dedication marked a celebration of its first sculpture.
“This is a very big day for us,” said Public Art Committee Chairperson Barbara Perry.
Next Thursday and Friday, the committee will be overseeing the installation of 14 other sculptures for “Discover What’s Outside,” the first annual Salisbury sculpture show.
A selection committee chose the pieces which will be displayed in the downtown through December. Those sculptures will be available for purchase, too, Perry said.
Councilman Mark Lewis said Sentinel No. 2 finds itself in “what will become the epicenter of our entertainment district.”
“Think about what this place was, not too long ago,” Lewis said, referring to the development and streetscape improvements that have taken place in this area.
Lewis thanked Perry and the Public Art Committee for all they have done toward growing the public art effort, and he thanked Michael and Connie Baker for their material and emotional investment in their adopted Salisbury.
The Bakers represent exactly the kind of artists Salisbury has been trying to attract, Lewis said.
The councilman also spoke of the Norvells’ love of Salisbury and their commitment to making the community better.
“It’s more than just writing a check,” Lewis said.