"Skull", Robert Hess

Robert Hess’ work, Skull, is one of the sculptures included in OASF’s 5th annual exhibition, “Sculpture Now”, and was purchased for the Salem Convention Center in accordance with City of Salem Vision 2020 plans to make downtown a more livable and inviting location. Riverfront Downtown Urban Renewal money of $17,277 was used for the acquisition. 

Skull is installed on the south side of the sculpture plaza outside the Convention Center. 

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Hess earned a BFA in sculpture at Indiana University in 1970 and an MFA at Notre Dame in 1972. He was hired by Willamette University in 1972 to teach classes in sculpture and design and was a member of the Art Department faculty for 34 years.

According to Willamette, Hess' wood carvings and his cast and welded figures and abstractions won many awards and brought him recognition as a major sculptor in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. In addition to periodic exhibitions at Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Over the course of his career, a number of his works have become a part of the university's art collection, including "Dixieland" in Rogers Rehearsal Hall, "Chutzpah" in the M. Lee Pelton Theatre foyer and several others. He also created an altar piece for Salem's First Presbyterian Church.