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Northshore Magazine

Arts On The Move

Salem Arts Association Has a New Home.

by Dinah Cardin (April 2020)

When describing his playful multimedia art pieces, artist Paul Nathan says, “There’s a certain...happiness." A dynamic collage features a parade more suited for New Orleans passing in front of the Salem Custom House. “They are light and joyous, but not simple,” says Nathan. This could be a good description for Salem itself at times.

A story full of serendipity has been unfolding on Derby Street in Salem. It started when Nathan retired from his work as a lawyer a couple years ago and turned his law office (an 18th-century yellow clapboard building near the water) into the Paul Nathan Gallery and Museum, where he could sell his original artworks and greeting cards stamped with his work. But he wasn’t seeing enough foot traffic. Then one day, when Salem Arts Association president Jim Bostick wandered in. a friendly conversation sparked a historic moment for the arts in Salem. Fast-forward to April of this year and the SAA has a new 2,600-square-foot home across the street from the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and near landmarks like the House of the Seven Gables and Mercy Tavern.

In contrast with the Rockport Art Association, which began in 1921, Salem’s is the youngest on the North Shore, formed in 2007 by a group on Artists’ Row. The Salem Film Fest and Salem Jazz and Soul Festival were starting up at the same time. The SAA now has a membership of more than 300, representing artists living all over the North Shore.

The organization has been housed in several locations, the most recent being a former Universalist church on Bridge Street. “Our openings were incredibly well attended. It was a really good feeling. But after the opening, nothing” says the organization’s vice president and exhibition curator. Heather Stewart, who lives in Lynn and focuses on Realist paintings.

Stewart is thrilled to have a more permanent home with 11 galleries, space for classes and workshops, and even an artist-in- residence program.

“I consider this a story of growth,” says Bostick, who works as a photographer and designer. One common goal is to bring back the community “clubhouse" feel that existed on Artists’ Row, when musicians would just turn up on a Friday, says Bostick, the new location includes a patio filled with potential on Kosciusko Street. Sunlit galleries are named after a few of the 50 wharves where goods were offloaded from Salem ships traveling all over the world, A first-floor gallery is named in memory of active Salem artist Ellen Hardy, considered the driving force behind the association. Bostick credits Hardy with saying “The word arts has an s for a reason." Keeping this in mind, the association is looking into expanding their offerings, even turning their basement into a black box theatre. “Ellen is smiling down on us.” says Bostick of his friend, who died in 2017. “None of this would have happened without her.”

The SAA has gained traction with a busy calendar of events, like their annual show inspired by a chosen exhibition at PEM. In Oc­tober, there is a fitting Dark Arts exhibit And in the spring is the playful Salon des Refuses, a tradition that started last year, featuring works turned down by the Salem Arts Festival. Now, when an artist’s work is rejected, the city hands them a flyer for the Salem Arts show, says Bos­tick, adding that this opportunity is a tradition going back to the French Academy.

On April 3, the public can attend the first member showcase in the new location. “I feel really strongly about letting people show their work," says Stewart, who has acted as juror, curator, and critic for exhibitions at prominent galleries in the region.

Bostick is coming to the end of his three- year term as president and is happy to hand off the SAA stronger than he found it. Some of that is due to hard work and some to the magic of Salem. In the meantime, the building also houses a small gallery just for Paul Nathan's work. “I think it s a win-win all around," says Nathan. "I see this as an adventure. The more people you have, the more energy."

May 2023 - Vibrant Art Scene Blooms in Salem - Northshore Magazine

September 2021 - Destination Salem Podcast Featuring Salem Arts Association and Artoberfest - Northshore Radio 104.9

March 2021 - Salem Arts Association Welcomes New Director and Artist in Residence - Creative Northshore

September 2020 - Salem Arts Announces Two New Exhibits - Northshore Magazine

July 2020 - Salem Arts Grand Opening Member Showcase Salem Access Television (SATV)

May 2020 - Salem Arts Association Launches Virtual ExhibitNorthshore Magazine

May 2020 - Gallery, Never Opened Due to COVID, Launches Online - Salem News

April 2020 - Arts On The Move - Salem Arts Association Has a New Home - Northshore Magazine (download PDF)

February 2020 - Salem Arts Association Moves to Derby Street Neighborhood - Salem Gazette

November 2019 - Autumn Member Showcase - Salem Access Television (SATV)

October 2019 - Dark Arts Exhibit - Salem Access TV (SATV)

September 2019 - Picturing America and Dark Arts Exhibitions - Salem Access Television (SATV)

August 6 2019: Dan Breslin Solo Show - Salem Gazette

June 2019 - Salon Des Refuses Salem Access Television (SATV)

May 2019 - Roots Exhibit at Salem Old Town HallSalem Access Television (SATV)

April 2019 - Member Showcase Exhibition at Salem Old Town HallSalem Access Television (SATV)

March 2019 -  Young at Art, Ellen Hardy, Paula Beaulieu, and Scholarship Fundraiser ExhibitSalem Access Television (SATV)

December 2018 - Fall Member Showcase 2018 - Salem Access Television (SATV)

October, 2018 - Two Exhibits: Untold Stories and Dark Arts 10-5-18 - Salem Access Television (SATV)

August, 2018 - Land & Sea, Raymond Gilbert Solo Exhibit - Salem Access Television (SATV)

July, 2018 - Go Away Exhibit - Salem Access Television (SATV)

March 2018 - Inspiring The Arts - Salem Magazine (Download PDF)

January, 2018 - Salem Cultural Council 2018 Grant Recipients - Salem Cultural Council

December 28, 2017 - Reflecting on 2017 Events in SalemSalem Gazette

November 2017 - Salem Arts Association Member Showcase - Salem Access Television (SATV)

July 17, 2017 - Salem Arts Association: ReVision Opening Reception - Salem Access Television (SATV)

May 5, 2017 - ReVISION Exhibit Opening and Awards - Salem Gazette Video

March 9, 2017 - Salem Arts cuts ribbon on new digs - Wicked Local Salem

March 5, 2017 - Grand Opening Festivities on Salem Access Television - Salem Access Television (SATV)

February 22, 2017 - Salem Arts Announces New Move - Salem Gazette 

February 18, 2017 - "The Bridge at 211" Welcomes Salem Arts Association - Creative Salem

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  • Friday, February 22, 2013 3:31 PM | Deleted user
    On Thursday, February 28, the third annual Artists & Authors Winter Exhibition will bring together in one ballroom for the pleasure of the public the following talented authors, artists, and creatives:

    Amanda Bright
    Dan Browne
    Jan Condon
    Chris Cuddy
    Laura Dandaneau
    Nelson Dionne
    Matthew Fraser
    Peter Grimshaw
    Ellen Hardy
    Karen Hosking
    Katherine Howe
    Aziz Isaak
    Morgan Leshinsky
    North Shore Writers
    Terri O'Brien
    Jeannine Pelkey
    Salem Theatre Co
    Salem Film Fest 
    Scarlet Letter Press
    Elizabeth Sheehan
    Salem Collective Artists & Musicians 
    Jack Walsh 
    Margaret Young 

    The FREE main event is 6–9 p.m. in the ballroom of the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA, 18 Washington Square West.

    A special demonstration by Frank Costantino will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. Entrance to the special demonstration is $7 online and $10 at the door.

  • Thursday, February 21, 2013 6:41 PM | Deleted user

    A call for art from Highrock North Shore:

    Help us get word out to local artists!  If you or someone you know is an artist, we’d love art submissions for our art exhibition and concert to benefit iSanctuary.  With questions or to get involved, contact

    Art Show Description and Theme

    We are surrounded by beauty. That beauty, however, is often neglected and abused, hiding it from our senses, our hearts, and our minds.  Artspeak: Restore is an art show that celebrates the unearthing of forgotten and neglected beauty. 

    We’ll be displaying works of art, in various mediums and dimensions, that explore the idea of restoration in all its facets. The works will be on display at Salem Old Town Hall the weekend of March 22-24, 2013. Opening night will be on March 22, 2013 from 7-9pm.  On opening night, there will be local music and refreshments, and all art will be on sale through silent auction. All auction proceeds will benefit iSanctuary.


    iSanctuary is a non-profit organization that helps restore the lives of girls and women who have been victimized by human trafficking. Since 2007, they have worked internationally not only to rescue victims of human trafficking, but also to teach them marketable skills as jewelry makers and stationary designers.  Some of this handcrafted jewelry and stationary will be sold along with the donated art on opening night. Proceeds will benefit the women of iSanctuary.

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2013 12:53 PM | Deleted user

    On Thursday, February 28 2013 at the Hawthorne Hotel—from 6 to 9 p.m. and with a special demonstration by Frank Costantino from 5 to 6 p.m.—the Hawthorne Hotel and the Salem Arts Association will hold the third annual Artists & Authors Winter Exhibition. Once again, the Ballroom of the Hawthorne Hotel will be brimming with local artists and authors displaying and selling their work. The Artists & Authors Winter Exhibition will be free and open to the public. 

    The Salem Arts Association and the Hawthorne Hotel look forward to providing visitors and residents of Salem a night's reprieve from the chill and stillness of late February at the third annual Artists & Authors Winter Exhibition.

    Artists & Authors Winter Exhibition:

    • Main event is free and open to the public
    • Presented by the Salem Arts Association and the Hawthorne Hotel
    • In the Ballroom of the Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square West, Salem, MA
    • Thursday, February 28 2013, 6–9 p.m. 

    Special painting demonstration by Frank Costantino: 

    • 5–6 p.m.
    • $7 in advance, $10 at the door
  • Monday, February 18, 2013 1:23 PM | Deleted user
    The upcoming third annual Artists & Authors Winter Exhibition presented by the Salem Arts Association and the Hawthorne Hotel on Thursday, February 28 2013, at the Hawthorne Hotel will be accompanied by a demonstration by award-winning and nationally recognized artist Frank Costantino. 

    About the painting demonstration and Frank Costantino:

    During his painting demonstration, Frank Costantino will engage the audience and explain his artistic process. Last summer, Costantino was invited by Mayor Menino's office to present a similar painting demonstration for a fundraiser at Boston's Kelleher Garden. He is currently featured in Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. Another article currently appears in the February/March issue of Plein Air Magazine. Both magazines are national publications.

    In transitioning from a highly successful career as an award-winning architectural illustrator to fine art watercolor, Frank has developed an increasingly diverse and accomplished body of work. He paints primarily en plein air his own vision of urban scenes, New England locales, seascapes, birds, animals, and portraits, among other interests.

    With signature member status in the New England Watercolor Society , Boston, and the North East Watercolor Society in New York, and elected member of New York’s Salmagundi Club, Frank is also a long-standing member and supporter of other art associations in the Boston area. He has been annually selected for many Plein Air events, including Plein Air Easton, MD; Cranford Plein Air, NJ; St. Simons Island Plein Air Affair, GA; and Plein Air Vermont, of which he is also a co-founder.

    His watercolor work is exhibited throughout the Northeast, as well as West Coast venues in juried, group or solo shows, and is represented in various galleries and retail locations, with limited edition prints and card series. His work has also been featured in national magazines. Frank also conducts watercolor workshops at all levels of skill in numerous venues.

    He enjoys the fluid challenge of the watercolor medium, and its vibrant, luminous qualities. His preference for the plein-air method of painting affords him ever new discoveries and directions from vistas that become exciting subjects for his paintings. By developing his style, looking for power in composition and color, Frank captures the unusual view in a fleeting moment.

    Artists & Authors Winter Exhibition:
    • Main event is free and open to the public
    • Presented by the Salem Arts Association and the Hawthorne Hotel
    • In the Ballroom of the Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square West, Salem, MA
    • Thursday, February 28 2013, 6–9 p.m.

    Special painting demonstration by Frank Costantino:
    • 5–6 p.m.
    • $7 in advance, $10 at the door
  • Monday, January 28, 2013 1:03 PM | Deleted user

    All in the Eyes

    Feb 9–Mar 10, 2013
    Opening Reception: Feb 10, 2-4 p.m.

    In portraiture, their expressions, inner beauty and strengths are what are deemed most important and hopefully inherent in each image. Drawn from ideas of strength, rage, beauty and humanity that are in each of us and make us the people we are, may be also seen in nature. Each subject is defined by ever-changing moods, unique emotion, and their own style, grace, and color. While they might not be perfect, the subtle qualities beneath the surface that shine through are what make each meaningful to me.

    Elisabeth has created her own photography business connected to her photographic interest; portraiture. Elisabeth s personal photographic work explores portraiture. Her work has been shown in many national group shows. Recently in Gallery Z s AFROCENTRIC: From the Perspective of Black Women, and Marblehead Artist Association s New Member Show. Also multiple solo showings in the New England area. Recently, October 2011, Neville had a collaborative show with her late Father at The Griffin Museum in Winchester MA., with her photography and his sketches. Eidetic Image . Elisabeth has also been closely involved with many artists associations, national and international. Presently she is a member of the Marblehead and Salem Artist Association, Artists Under the Dome initiative, working for the rights of Artists involved with the Copyright Alliance.

    8 Hooper Street
    Marblehead, MA 01945
    P 781.631.2608
    F 781.631.7890
  • Thursday, January 17, 2013 4:37 PM | Ellen Garvey

    Creative Economy Association of the North Shore
    presents an evening of networking and to view the exhibition 
    Absent | Present 

    on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 5:30 - 7:30 pm   
    at Montserrat College of Art Gallery, 23 Essex St., Beverly, MA  
    The evening will feature an update from Massachusetts Creative Economy Industry Director Helena Fruscio, and a short gallery talk by Curator Leonie  Bradbury.  
    Please rsvp to Elizabeth Gianino
    at or 978.921.4242 x1121

    Kate Gilmore, Sudden as a Massacre, 2012, video (still) 
  • Monday, January 14, 2013 10:05 AM | Deleted user
    Artists And Authors

    The Salem Arts Association 3rd annual "Artists and Authors" will be held at the Hawthorne Hotel, for more information about this event please visit the "Call to art" page and download the .pdf to submit your application. We look forward to seeing your there.
    Exhibit Date:
    February 28, 2013 from 6 to 9 p.m.
    Artists must arrive by 5 p.m. and be set up completely before the 6 p.m. opening.
    Breakdown will occur directly after the event at 9 p.m. Tables will be provided by the
    Hawthorne Hotel.

    Exhibit Location:
    The Hawthorne Hotel Ballroom, Salem, MA

    Go To "Call For Art Page"

  • Monday, January 07, 2013 2:20 PM | Ellen Hardy
    SSU and the Mass Poetry Festival have asked SAA to have an exhibition during the Festival this year May 2-5, 2013. Mass Po invites all Festival participants throughout the state to discuss 10 poems each year. Five are chosen from poets who have passed away and five poems are chosen from living poets. Often a living poet will attend the Festival.

    The Salem Arts Association members are asked to respond to one of the 10 poems with their artwork. Location for the exhibit will be announced. Artists should be prepared to show their work on their own easels if we get a location not suitable for hanging on the wall. A full packet with the CALL FOR PROPOSALS will be posted in February. Deadline will be early April.

    Artists who would like to submit artwork for the Mass Po program (which may or may not be part of the exhibition), please email to <>

    Links to the 10 poems—

    Common Threads 2013: TEN PASTORALS (10 poems about the outside)

    1. Patricia Smith: What to Tweak

    2. Matt Miller: Tuggin’

    3. Andrea Cohen: To Whom It May Concern

    4. Frank O'Hara: Autobiographia Literaria

    5. Jack Gilbert: Cherishing What Isn't

    6. Robert Frost: Range-Finding

    7. Martha Collins: [white paper #38]

    8. Lloyd Schwartz: Leaves

    9. Afaa Michael Weaver: Leaves

    10. Stephen Jonas: To a Strayed Cat (to be included in February packet)

  • Monday, December 17, 2012 12:17 PM | Deleted user

    Hamilton-Wenham Library is looking to fill approximately 30 spaces in their popular public displays for January. The library is also interested in finding artists to display work for future months.            

    Contact: Rebecca Shea,  Administrative Librarian
    Hamilton-Wenham Public Library
    978-468-5577  x20

  • Monday, December 17, 2012 12:12 PM | Deleted user

    LynnArts Photography Exhibit:
    Take Your Best Shot

    A Curated Show, open to any artist 17 and older

    Saturday, January 26-Friday, March 8, 2013

    Opening reception: Saturday, January 26, 2013, 2-4pm

    Juror: TBD

    Entry Fee: $5 each piece, max of 4 pieces/artist. Non-refundable
    Ribbons Awarded


    Please visit for complete guideline information.

    Media: An image originally created through photography or containing photography; altered images are welcomed.  

    Size limitation: There are no size limitations for this show, except entry through a standard door.

    Conditions: Work submitted for consideration must be in physical form and delivered to LynnArts during the stated drop off times. Do not transmit work electronically or submit on CD, etc. All work must be original, ready for hanging or display.

    Additional Prints: Artists who submit work to be juried are welcome to bring up to six (6) shrink-wrapped prints for the gallery bin. These prints will be for sale during the stated exhibit dates. There is no additional fee; only artists submitting work can be bring prints. LynnArts retains 50% commission on each print sold during the exhibit.

    • Drop-off: Thursday, January 17, Friday, January 18 and Saturday, January 19.
    • Work not accepted: Wednesday, January 23, Thursday, January 24 or Friday, January 25.
    • Accepted work: Saturday, March 9 or by special arrangement.

    Gallery Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10-4, Thursday, 11-7, Saturday, 11-4. Gallery hours are

    subject to change, please call before visiting.

    Commission: LynnArts, Inc. retains a 25% commission on all work sold during the exhibit.

    The Juror: TBD

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

Weekends 12-6pm

Closed: Christmas, Thanksgiving
and New Years Day 
Parking: on street when available


© 2007 - 2024,  Salem Arts Association is a 501(c)(3 )non-profit organization

159 Derby Street, Salem MA 01970