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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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  • Saturday, November 03, 2012 5:29 PM | Deleted user
    Paula Beaulieu

    Eleventh Annual

    Open Studio & Show

    Point of View

    Featuring recent watercolors and oils

    From Holland

    On paper and canvas

    November 17-18, 2012


    All paintings 20% off

    The Studio

    2 Emerald Ave., Salem

    (978) 744-8550

    The Eleventh Annual Open Studio & Show by Salem artist and art educator, Paula Beaulieu, takes place on Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18 from 1p.m. to 5p.m. at her studio, 2 Emerald Ave., Salem, MA. The Show entitled "Point of View” "was inspired by her Spring trip to Holland to visit the world-renown Keukenhoff gardens and flower fields and to experience the beauty and light of the Dutch countryside. Her signature painting in this show captures the only windmill in the world that still grinds ores into powdered pigments for paint. It is surrounded by the beauty of the Dutch sky. Some of the small works in the show, including one of Serd Kerk, South Church in Amsterdam, were painted “en plein air” from unusual points of view, including those of the flower fields.

    The show includes not only paintings from her trip to Holland but a varied array of subject matter in watercolor, oils, acrylics, and mixed media on paper and canvas. In honor of the eleventh anniversary, all paintings will be 20% off. Prints are also available. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. The public is invited.

    This is not only the Eleventh Anniversary Show of the artist in her studio in Salem, but she is also celebrating the eleventh anniversary of her business, Connect With Your Creativity. Paula provides hands-on art workshops for people from 3 to 101 helping them connect with their innate creativity. The Salem public schools, Salem State University, Salem Recreation Department, Salem Council on Aging, The Peabody Essex Museum, and the House of the Seven Gables have all benefited from her programs. She also provides programs in many other local communities and in her studio as well. For a complete listing of current art programs see her website at

    The Last of the Pigment Grinders
    Watercolor on 260lbs Arches Paper
  • Saturday, November 03, 2012 5:24 PM | Deleted user
    Kensington-Stobart Gallery in Salem’s Historic Hawthorne Hotel announces an exhibition of works by Salem artists who are connected by neighborhood affiliation, personal relationships, or both. Participating artists include Charlie Allen, Katy Bratun, David Decker, Julie Shaw Lutts, Barbara Burgess Maier, Trip Mason, and Racket Shreve.The show runs from Friday, November 2 through Sunday, December 2. An artist reception will be held on Friday, November 9 from 6-8 p.m. and a gallery talk, “Artist Friends and Neighbors--A Hundred Years Ago” by Jim McAllister is planned for Tuesday, November 27th at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required for the gallery talk and admission is free. Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 12pm-5pm. For more information call, The Kensington-Stobart Gallery at 978-825-0022. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Wednesday, October 31, 2012 5:43 PM | Deleted user
    Though the summer has passed and the Halloween hubbub is ending, the Salem Arts Association (SAA) will continue to offer art exhibits, retail artwork, music, and workshops to visitors and residents of Salem through the fall and holiday season.

    The SAA will maintain its Retail Gallery and exhibition space at 24 New Derby Street on Artists' Row through December 20. On view in the exhibition space will be Salem-themed and holiday-related art works.

    On Thursdays, the SAA space on Artists' Row will be open during the Salem Winter Market, held in Old Town Hallundefineda great opportunity for one-stop holiday shopping.

    The SAA is also excited to be taking part in Salem First Friday, a Salem Main Streets initiative. In addition to having its retail and gallery space on Artists' Row open on First Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m., the SAA will be featuring its artist members at the Row and around town.

    On First Friday, November 2, the SAA will feature artist Paula Beaulieu at Artists' Row and Patricia Dunbar at Coldwell Banker at 7 1/2 Church Street.

    The SAA will also be open on Artists' Row every Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.

    Salem Arts Association: Fall and Winter at Artists' Row
    • Artists' Row, 24 New Derby Street, Salem, MA
    • Thursdays, 3–6 p.m.
    • Saturdays, noon–6 p.m.
    • First Fridays, 4–8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 31, 2012 9:30 AM | Deleted user
    Winter Market

    The Winter market is here! This year in place of the annual group show the Salem Arts Association will feature "Salem Themed" works of art and "Holiday Related" artwork, in addition to that we will also have our regular retail gallery visitors can enjoy!

    For more information such as dates and times please visit our
    "Call For Art" page.

    We hope to see you at the Winter Market extravaganza!


    Take-In is on Thursday, November 1, 3–6 p.m., on Friday,

    November 2, 4–8 p.m., or on Saturday, November 3, 12–6 p.m
  • Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:53 PM | Deleted user

    On November 8, noon to 4 p.m., and November 9, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Brush Strokes is having a take in for an open show. You may submit up to two items at $10 a piece, no bigger then 24" x 30".

  • Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:36 PM | Deleted user

    Sheila Billings will have a solo exhibit of a selection of  her work, “New England Scenes” in the Stetson Art Gallery of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead throughout the month of November. Her opening reception will be held on Sunday, November 11 from Noon to 2 p.m. at the church, located at 28 Mugford St., Marblehead, and refreshments will be served. There will also be an informal “meet-the-artist” availability in the gallery on Sunday, Nov. 4 from noon to 2 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public, and she would love it if you can come!

    From the artist:

    “New England Scenes” is a collection of work inspired by the beauty of New England. Some paintings were created on location in a realistic style using acrylic and watercolor paints. Others are done back in my home studio and are more stylized and created in a variety of mediums. For more information about my work, visit

    The Stetson Gallery was founded in 1995 to showcase artist members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead and the wider artistic community. Stetson Gallery is open during Church events, when Church staff are in the building, and by appointment. If Gallery lights are on and the door to the Gallery is unlocked, visitors may enjoy the exhibit. In addition, the Church Administrator and the curators can make themselves available to show an exhibit. Please call the Administrator at 781-639-1215, email the curators, or call curators Anthony Silva (508-641-0767) or Jo Ann Silva(617-285-6265) to arrange an appointment. 

  • Saturday, October 13, 2012 8:46 AM | Deleted user
    City By The Sea
    A show sponsored by the Salem Arts Association
    (Only Members may enter artwork)

    Please join us for the exhibit "City By the Sea" a members only show (anyone may view the exhibit but to enter your work you must be a member) Exhibit sponsored by the Salem arts Association. If you would like to become a member please visit our "JOIN" link on the left side navigation bar. You can select from different levels of membership as well as add artwork to your member profile on our website.

    Work Sought for the show "City By the Sea" All artists are invited to submit up to 2 pieces. It should be wired to hang, no sawtooth, and professionally presented for the exhibit. Size limits are "If it fits through  the door". We look forward to seeing the artwork from the members and hope to see you there. For more information on the "call to art" please visit the download PDF link at the bottom of the page.

    Salem Arts Association

    October Exhibit "City By the Sea"

    Exhibit Dates: October 4 - October 31st , 2012    

    Opening Reception: October 13, 4–6 p.m.

     Exhibit Details Download Here .PDF

    Join the Salem Arts Association and our group of friendly encouraging open minded artists. If you love art like we do select a link below you wish to join by

    Join Salem Arts As Artist

    Join Salem Arts As Associate or Donation member
  • Tuesday, September 18, 2012 4:59 PM | Deleted user

    Applications are now available for the Assets For Artists grant program, which caters to low-to-moderate income artists who are interested in accumulating working capital to invest in their creative businesses (we've had artists invest in painting supplies, expand their kiln size, redesign their websites, and other major improvements.) In addition to grants, we offer mandatory arts-specific  business and financial training so that they can grow their businesses more effectively. Artists can receive up to $2,000 dollars in matching grants.
    For more information:

    The deadline for Massachusetts-based artists is October 12, 2012.

  • Tuesday, September 18, 2012 9:10 AM | Deleted user

    Serenitee Restaurant Group Commissions Three Sculptural Light Fixtures for Next Restaurant

    Calling all North Shore “found art” sculptors. Serenitee Restaurant Group is commissioning a large scale, sculptural light fixture over the bar at its next restaurant in Salem. The new restaurant is on the site of the former Greenland Café on Washington St. in Salem. 

    This sculptural art piece will serve as a principal focal point much the way the sculptural octopus functions over the sushi area at Latitude 43 in Gloucester. In addition, unlike the octopus sculpture, it will serve a critical functional and marketing role in the bar area. The primary functions of the piece include the following:

    • Creates stem glass and wine or liquor storage accessible to bartenders
    • General lighting (LED) and visual interest which creates richness and sparkle but no glare
    • Incorporates found objects related to the bar trade and liquor manufacture, past and present
    • Captures the visual variety and richness of the craft of mixology
    • Creates a memorable impression both from within the restaurant as well as from the street
    • Contributes to the brand and overall aesthetic experience in the restaurant

    The approximate size of the piece will be roughly 4 to 5 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide. It will be hung approximately 6’-6” above the floor.

    Depending upon cost, two related chandeliers may also be commissioned for the front windows.

    Please contact the owner Mark McDonough immediately to discuss the design if you are interested in submitting a proposal. Collaboration between artists with complimentary talents is encouraged but not essential. Proposals are due by Sept 28 and the winner will be announced Oct 1. The restaurant opens the first week in November. All artists will be given each other’s contact information.  


    Mark McDonough


    Serenitee Restaurant
    185 Main St.
    Gloucester, MA 01930    

  • Sunday, September 16, 2012 2:53 PM | Deleted user

    There's a lot happening in the arts community in and around Salem.

    Ellen Hardy, Interim Executive Director and Henry Zbyszynski, President. Photo by John Hurley

    SALEM, MA—There’s a lot happening in the arts community in and around Salem. While the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) pushes past the Boston Museum of Fine Arts with extraordinary fundraising and a new vision for our region, the local art group Salem Arts Association (SAA) is growing and expanding. Ellen Hardy, President of SAA for two-and-half years has stepped into the new position of Interim Executive Director and Henry Zbyszynski has been voted in as their new President. The SAA continues to draw members from Salem and the surrounding region.

    Each year the city awards space on Artists’ Row, selecting from those who submit proposals. This year, unlike past one-year contracts, the SAA was awarded a three-year contract for its space on Artists’ Row. The SAA brings five exhibits each season and a rotating array of local art work in the retail area of its Artists’ Row space. In addition to art, the SAA provides educational workshops and hosts music on the Row.

    For the last six years, the SAA has looked to the world class neighboring PEM to be inspired—to ask its members to look, to study, and to create something in response to one of the PEM exhibitions. This year, some 60 artists’ works were judged by Paula Richter—Curator for Exhibitions and Research at the PEM—for Off the Top of Your Head.

    The space on Artists’ Row is a wonderful boost to the local arts community and SAA; but the show area at the Row is never big enough to display the work that is entered for the SAA’s PEM inspired show. In years past, SAA has rented various locations around the city for this show. However, for the last two years the PEM has graciously donated use of the carriage barn of the Andrew-Safford House for the Salem Arts Association show during the month of September.

    Each year the work improves—and this year is by far one of the best. This year’s PEM show HATS: An Anthology of Stephen Jones has inspired SAA’s regional artists show Off the Top of your Head. During recent private and public receptions, over 200 guests were treated to a display of outstanding art work.

    Please stop by the carriage barn, across from the Hawthorne Hotel, Thursdays through Sundays for the month of September and see some truly terrific inspirations by regional artists! Visit the PEM’s HATS show and then come over to the lovely courtyard and gallery; you will be amazed by the breadth, the talent, and the ingenuity!

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