TOWN OF ORLEANS, New York (WWNY) – North country artist and nationally renowned sculptor Will Salisbury passed away Tuesday morning. But, the legacy he leaves behind won’t soon be forgotten.
After more than half a decade of steel sculpting, welding, and pushing the artistic envelope, Will Salisbury has passed away, but his legacy lives on in artists across the North country.
“He’s an irreplaceable artist. He’s an irreplaceable inspiration for artists in this area,” said Kelly Curry, owner of Saint Lawrence Pottery.
If you’ve ever driven south on Interstate 81 past the Alexandria Bay exit, you’ve probably seen three massive crows. They’re some of Will’s most well-known sculptures.
“You’d drive by back and forth to Watertown. Nothing was going on and then boom there were 3 gigantic crows and it was a shock to the system for the first time,” said Curry.
The trio sprang up right at the turn of the millennium. Since crows are often depicted as harbingers of change, the sculpture is meant to represent public fears surrounding Y2K. That information comes courtesy of Charlie Tebbutt, Will’s lifelong best friend.
“He thought differently than anybody else I’ve ever met. There will never be another one like him. He’s a modern-day DaVinci,” said Tebbutt.
Although Salisbury worked on some lighter pieces like the Clayton Muskie, he spent much of his personal time on darker, thought-provoking art. One called Moonwalkers depicts humans after World War 3 and the collapse of civilization.
“It’s not living room art. Should be because it makes you think. It makes you want to do something to make the world a better place,” said Tebbutt.
Despite his status as a local legend. Tebbutt says Will always knew how to have a good time.
“A character. Scallywag as some would say. A pirate. A beautiful human being who provoked you to think and act.”
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