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Reception: Friday August 5, 6-8 PM • On Display July 30 through August 27 

Mary Szeman Best Statement

Some time ago, still working a full-time job, I fell in love with fabric  and began with clothes-making and quilts.  Quilting especially started a love of design, color and texture. I received a much better, more modern sewing machine and I was off and running. Especially after I retired from the manufacturing job that I held for over thirty years, I was able to devote more of my time to the art of sewing. 

One of my oldest friends loved going to museums and art exhibits with me along, she inspired me with the impressionistic views of artists of the last and current era. With that experience, I was becoming more skilled at making art quilts, collages and quilt-like pieces. 

Since my retirement, I have continued to experiment with all types of art media. When I discovered Salem Arts Association in downtown Salem, it gave me the support and confidence that I needed to continue to grow.  

I enjoy experimenting with collages of all sorts with fabric being my primary medium. My art is mostly a version of abstract views of life and individual interpretations.  I believe abstract art is a view into the soul of the artist as much as any other media.  I love the geometric as well as the asymmetric shapes, sizes and colors of my artwork.

Mary Szeman Best


Brian Best Statement

The inspiration for my art is in the objects that I find. I collect things. I gather old objects, cast aside, no longer seen as useful, yet still with a certain beauty. You can find many of them placed around my studio - sitting on a shelf, hanging on a wall, or center-stage on my desk. Not yet art, I study them, waiting for them to speak to me, not in the real sense of course, but they do speak. And when they do, that is when I create my best art.

I love natural materials - wood, iron, brass, copper, leather. They acquire a certain dignity with age. Woods wear and darken. Iron rusts. Brass and copper tarnish. Leather gets soft and worn. I am fortunate to receive inspiration from these old, inanimate objects, these relics from the past.

Often whimsical,  sometimes political or social, these cast-off creations help me tell a story in my art, usually with a nudge and a wink.

Brian Best





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