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Artoberfest & INSPIRED BY PEM

Two Exhibits - September 5 through Sunday November 8, 2020

Salem Arts Association members and community of artists explore Salem’s history with Autumn, Halloween, Witchcraft, and the Spirit of the season.  The resulting exhibit represents diverse interpretations of the theme and how, by bringing them together, we create a collective understanding of it.

September 5 through Sunday November 8, 2020

"Inspired by PEM" - 14th Annual PEM Inspirational Exhibition

Salem Arts Association presents an exhibition by local artists inspired by the Peabody Essex Museum's collections of art.  Artists draw inspiration from any of the work in the PEM's outstanding special exhibits and permanent collection of art and architecture. 

September 5 through Sunday November 8, 2020

The virtual gallery above allows you to explore our galleries as a virtual space.

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Jurors & Awards

Artoberfest Guest Juror: Laura Tempest Zakroff 

Laura Tempest Zakroff is a professional artist, author, dancer, designer, and Modern Traditional Witch based in New England. She holds a BFA from RISD (The Rhode Island School of Design) and her artwork has received awards and honors worldwide. Her work embodies myth and the esoteric through her drawings and paintings, jewelry, talismans, and other designs.

Juror notes: 

This was a delightful range of work, showing a diverse array of media and inspiration. With the terrific theme of "Exploring Salem's history with witchcraft, religion, and Halloween" - there is so much to work with. There is the spirit of the land itself, the complicated blending of history and mythology over the course of several hundred years (not only in nonfiction textbooks, but in theatrical media as well as politics), and the modern intersection of commerce and spirituality we've seen over the last several decades.  It is a city of many layers, personalities, and possibilities, sometimes at odds with itself and its visions, yet deeply rooted and determined. 

Best of Show: “Statuary No. 3” by Patricia Scialo

This is a wonderfully subtle yet highly evocative piece, conjuring so many shapes in its layers and shadows in its mixed media presentation. To me, it epitomizes the complicated history and the emotional allure of the city.  We get a sense of stone, of graveyards, of memory, of decay and nature reclaiming what is hers, of grasping on to tradition while grapping with the future. This piece is like a scrying mirror, revealing more as you gaze upon it. 

Second Prize: “Sacred Tools VII” by Heather Meri Stewart

To me, this is the spirit of modern Salem, symbolic of the rising generation of witches, magical practitioners and current denizens - not just in the October season, but all year round. Salem in October is a sight to behold, but you don't get a full picture of this city without experiencing all of her seasons, especially when most of the tourists have gone home. 

Once all of the special effects and spooky trappings get removed, there is still beauty to be found. 

Bones remind us of where we have come from while blossoms speak of the promise of the future - the warmth and balance of this painting evokes these sensations perfectly. 

Third Prize: “Ugly Jack” by Katherine Miura

This little grouping of paintings is quintessential Salem in October.  It's fun, playful, colorful, spooky, and a bit willfully irreverent. It's a brilliant Fall weekend where a almost too-warm sunny day suddenly gives way a crisp cool evening - you can hear the throngs of costumed people in the streets, see the lighted ghost tours edging past you, and catch the aroma of the mingling smells of treats and fireplace smoke in the air. You know exactly which house this jack-o-lantern resides. 

Honorable Mentions:

“Scary Tomatoes” by Peggy MacNeill

“Ode to Gorey” by Jane Saunders

“Possession: Inez terrorizes the topiary” by Steve Negron

“Witch Power” by Victoria Moreno-Jackson

“Covid Mary” by Beki Ferrari

All Artoberfest Artists: James Bostick, Helen L. Abraham, David Alexander, Sheila Farren Billings, Daniel Breslin, Patricia Burson, John Casey, Martha Parrish Chapman, Therese DeVoe, Susan Dodge, Patricia Dunbar, Larry Dunn , Lucia Esposito, Beki Ferrari, James Flynn, Ray Gilbert, Peter Grimshaw, Mark Hammesfahr, Alan Hanscom, Lois Harvey, Karen Hosking, Zenovia Limberakis, Peggy MacNeil, MaryEllen McHugh-Sullivan, Ruby Martinez, Victoria Moreno-Jackson, Steve Negron, Doug Major, Katherine Miura, Katherine Miura, Tammy Nohelty, Terri O'Brien, The Fire Inside, Michael Saporito, Jane Saunders, Patricia Scialo, Tina Stakh, Heather Stewart, Erin Survilas, Jim Vaughey, Laura Tempest Zakroff, Janet Schwartz

Inspired by PEM Guest Juror: Lydia Gordon

Associate Curator for Exhibitions and Research at PEM

Lydia Gordon is an instructor at Montserrat Collage of Art in the Liberal Arts department and Associate Curator for Exhibitions and Research at the Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA). At PEM, she served as the coordinating curator for Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction and Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle. She also curated Vanessa Platacis: Taking Place. Her publication projects include contributing essays in Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle (Peabody Essex Museum / University of Washington Press, 2019) and Inappropriate Bodies: Art Design, and Maternity (Demeter Press, 2019).

Prior to joining PEM as Associate Curator for Exhibitions and Research, Lydia Gordon worked for the Society of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago and as a Curatorial Fellow for the department of Exhibitions and Exhibitions Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Gordon earned her BA in Art Administration from Simmons College in 2010 and her Dual MA in Art History, Theory and Criticism, Art Administration & Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017. Her research interests include the histories of modernisms, post-structuralist theory, and contemporary art.

Best in Show: “Where the Questionnaires Go for Tea” by Jim Vaughey


The element of surprise when looking through the scope won me over. I was heartened by how this work drew clear inspiration from the PEM Exhibition “Where the Questions Live”.

Second Prize: “Maskr-Raid” by Jack Walsh

The conversations this work is engaged with are timely and powerful, some of which were made possible because of PEMs Jacob Lawrence exhibition. I also enjoyed spending a lot of timing looking closely at the intricate surface.

Third Prize: “Peach Bojag”i by Sandra Goldbert

PEM has several Korean wrapping cloths in our collection. I loved the presentation of this object. 

Honorable Mentions

“Black Lives Matter” by Patricia Dunbar

The accordion presentation of the mixed media work was interesting but I felt a deeper connection to the conversations the work is having. That quote from Washington titled a Jacob Lawrence struggle series panel. 

“Light and Shadow” by Elizabeth Hall

This photograph is a wonderful and calm snapshot of stillness and beautifully executed with balance in the light.

“Millfleur” by Sandra Goldbert

The embroidery in this work is intricate and delightful. I’m working on a project now that emphasizes the labor of ornamentation and embellishment.

All Inspired by PEM Artists: James Bostick, Kathy Abbott, Helen L. Abraham, David Alexander, Linda Lea Bertrand, Sheila Farren Billings, Daniel Breslin, Patricia Burson, John Casey, Janet A. Cook, Susan Dodge, Kate Dulmage, Patricia Dunbar, Larry Dunn , Rosalyn Dunn, Lucia Esposito, Beki Ferrari, Christopher Finn, Ray Gilbert, Sandra Golbert, Elizabeth Hall, Lois Harvey, Karen Hosking, Robert Kolsky, Peggy MacNeil, MaryEllen McHugh-Sullivan, Katherine Miura, Lynn Murray, Tammy Nohelty, Terri O'Brien, Erin Survilas, Jim Vaughey, Jack Walsh, Heather Stewart, David La Chapelle, Barbara Rafferty, Janet Schwartz

Salem Arts Association
159 Derby Street 
Salem, MA 01970  
Phone: 978-745-4850 

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and New Years Day 
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