It was serendipitous that James Bostick, President of Salem Arts Association, visited the Paul Nathan Gallery and Museum on Derby Street in Salem. Jim struck up a conversation with Paul and ideas began to form. Discussions where had. Agreements were reached. Now renovations have begun. In April Salem Arts Association will open the doors to the public in the large, historic, yellow building at 159 Derby Street – in the Historic Derby Street Neighborhood and abutting the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.
Paul is a retired lawyer and working artist who had converted his former law offices, two years ago, to a gallery to show and sell his own artwork. One can imagine the challenges of maintaining a single person gallery, so Paul was thinking about what might be next. What’s next is that Salem Arts will move into the space, taking over most of the first and second floors with Paul maintaining one room as his own gallery. As Paul has said, “It is a wonderful building. It has historic charm. It sits on the corner of an absolute gem of a public park. The Custom House, the Friendship, the wharf, pedestrians. I can go on and on. People smile when they walk in. The building just feels good.”
Salem Arts President James Bostick says "This is a very exciting time for Salem Arts. The creative roots of the Salem Arts Association community have grown and prospered over the past decade thanks to the dedication of our artists and volunteers. Our new space, growing group of artists, and continued support of the Salem community will allow Salem Arts to continue to advance. We look forward to an exciting future in the historic Derby Street neighborhood offering outstanding exhibitions in the galleries, educational workshops, and other events and performances to delight our members and supporters."
Founded in 2007, Salem Arts Association has spent the past 14 years growing. Starting as a small group of artists on Salem’s Artists’ Row the Association maintained it’s vision and mission to bring art, in all its forms, to the community and bring the community, in all its diversity, to the arts in Salem, Massachusetts. As the group of artists continued to grow the Salem Arts Association Gallery moved in 2015 to a space on the Essex Street walking mall at the generosity of the Peabody Essex Museum. The New PEM construction prompted a move to “The Bridge at 211”, the former Salem Universalists Society church building at 211 Bridge Street where the organization flourished since 2017 and continued to grow and establish our reputation as a collective of Northshore artists, musicians, writers, and performers. From our early roots Salem Arts has become one of Salem’s largest arts institutions now serving a membership of more than 300 artists and art lovers. Such growth prompted the need to search for a new home that offers the creative community and Salem’s residents a showcase of what our local artists and craftspeople have to offer.
2020 brings the latest growth opportunity for Salem Arts with a move to 159 Derby Street. This historic neighborhood places the gallery amongst Salem's most popular sites including the House of the Seven Gables and the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.