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16th Annual Inspired by PEM Exhibition: Drawn to Place

Salem Arts Association members reflect on the Shelagh Keeley: Drawn to Place exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum. Our exhibition features artwork that inspired by the past, present, and future of Salem, the North Shore, and MA; our members' relationship to this area; and by the PEM and Phillips Library collections, the collections of local cultural institutions and homes, and the legendary people and families who called the North Shore their home. 

Reception: Friday,  June 23, 2023, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Performance of original music by Mike McGeown 

Exhibition Dates: June 24-July 29, 2023

For more information about the exhibition at the PEM:

Our Guest Juror: Kurt T. Steinberg, Ed.D.

Peabody Essex Museum’s Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Steinberg takes a purpose driven approach to achieve meaningful results through support of staff and active engagement in the community. He has been an authority in operations and arts administration for over 20 years. 

Most recently, he was the 8th President of Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Mass., on Boston’s North Shore. This followed 12 years as Executive Vice President and Acting President at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Dr. Steinberg’s focus has been to promote the ideas of a creative life; a mutual commitment made between the college, its students and its alumni to a lifelong relationship of helping artists, designers and artist educators achieve their creative goals. He strongly believes in fostering the diversity of creating traditions as a way to challenge both students and faculty to expand their social and global awareness. In support of these ideas, he focused on the expansion of Montserrat’s presence internationally and nationally through affiliations in China, Bahamas, Japan, India, the New World in Miami, Florida, and NOCCA, Louisiana’s arts conservatory. 

Dr. Steinberg has lectured on nonprofit finance, inclusive planning, nonprofit fundraising and community relations, as well as the power of innovation and design through art education in China, Japan, India and the United States. He continues to participate in site visits for the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD). He serves on the boards of the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development, the St. Botolph Club Foundation, the Danforth Art Museum Alliance and as a Commissioner of the Essex National Heritage Commission. He most recently served as a Nominator for the Boston Foundation/Brother Thomas Fellowship, Treasurer and Executive Committee Member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art &Design and as Secretary on the National Association of Schools of Art and Design Executive Committee. 

Dr. Steinberg holds a bachelor of arts in international relations from Syracuse University and a master of public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He earned his doctorate in organizational leadership from Northeastern University. 


“John Ward House”

By James Bostick

The theme of the show was present in my review of the work. This piece embodied both the past and present with the photo being a current depiction of the Ward House under elemental conditions that point to its ominous past. The atmospherics in the photo gave me a sense of dread that pointed to the Salem Witch Trials and the intolerance that led to a tragic event in Colonial History as well as Salem History. The ground up orientation of the view of the Ward House highlights the largeness of the event and how it still teaches and informs visitors to Salem and the Ward House of the consequences of intolerance and bigotry.

-- Kurt T. Steinberg, Ed.D.

    “Return of the Quetzalcoatl” 

    By David Jaramillo 

    This 3D piece creates a modern view of a long history of dragons depicted in art and maritime history. It calls out the history of the Asian Export Trade of old Salem and the traditions of collecting that lead to the origins of the Peabody Essex Museum back in 1799. The dragon is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. It is a symbol of power, spirituality and empowerment. This representation bridges the past to the present on the way to the future.

    -- Kurt T. Steinberg, Ed.D.

      “Day’s End” 

      By Janet Schwartz

      The theme of bringing the past and present of Salem together is depicted in a common street scene as seen in this work. It grabbed my imagination and made me ponder all who have walked this road in this neighborhood over the centuries of Salem's existence. It directly deals with the prompt and engages the viewer in pondering history while waiting for a future passerby to make their way down the street and into the eyesight of the viewer.

      -- Kurt T. Steinberg, Ed.D.


      “Her Shoulder”

      By Patricia Scialo 

      “Charging Bull”

      By Kenneth Hill

      “October 1st - Turquoise (Neptune)”

      By Francois-Xavier De Costerd

      “Salem to Nahant”

      By Russel Findley 

        “Factory O’Keefe”

        By Edward Morneau 




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