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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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  • Thursday, July 19, 2012 2:59 PM | Ellen Garvey
    At Monday's meeting of SAA Board of Directors Ellen Hardy submitted her resiHenry Zbyszynski, Ellen Hardy at PEM Complement Show 2011gnation citing a change in her work status causing her to reallocate her resources. After accepting her resignation the Board voted to have Henry Zbyszynski serve the remainder of her term.

    Be sure to wish Ellen the best when you see her, and join the board in supporting Henry in his new role
  • Friday, July 06, 2012 12:38 PM | Deleted user
    Montserrat College of Art and the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston are teaming up to offer The Artist’s Professional Toolbox (APT) Certificate; a one-year professional development certificate program on Montserrat’s Beverly campus during the 2012-13 academic year.

    APT offers:
    • A 9-month program for emerging and mid-career visual artists to master business challenges.
    • A curriculum geared to sharpening marketing, networking, studio practices, and sole proprietorship.
    • Peer-group interaction, mentorship and feedback, and valuable studio critiques.

    APT has helped more than 200 artists map career goals, market work, understand legal rights, approach galleries, discover new sales venues, launch social media campaigns, and build important networks. Now, this expertise joins with the creativity of Montserrat studio programming to create a well-rounded certificate program to help working artists move their careers to the next level.

    View information at or contact:
    Applications due August 15th, 2012
  • Thursday, July 05, 2012 8:38 AM | Deleted user
    Many exciting Salem Arts Association (SAA) events are coming up at Artists' Row in Salem, MA, including a talk by Katherine Howe on her latest book and a photography workshop by Laura Dandaneau.
    SALEM, MA—The Salem Arts Association (SAA) is excited to share the news of two upcoming events at their gallery and retail shop at Artists' Row in Salem, MA: a talk by local author, Katherine Howe, on her new book, The House of Velvet and Glass, and a two-part photography workshop by local photographer, Laura Dandaneau.

    Katherine Howe was born in Houston, Texas, and holds degrees in Art History and Philosophy from Columbia and in American and New England Studies from Boston University. She is the author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, a novel of the Salem witch trials which debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, and which has been translated into twenty-five languages. This past year she hosted the Expedition Week special “Salem: Unmasking the Devil” on the National Geographic Channel, and taught a seminar on historical fiction at Cornell University. Her bestselling new novel, a historical thriller set in Boston in the aftermath of the Titanic sinking, is entitled The House of Velvet and Glass. She lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and upstate New York, where she is at work on her next novel.

    Laura Dandaneau has been creating photographs since the age of nine. She was largely self-taught until adulthood, when she studied at the Maine Media Workshops. She creatively uses photography to tell a story and she also brings an observer’s viewpoint to her work, honed from her experiences as a flight attendant for a major U.S. airline. Her photographic credits include the U. S. Sailing Team, Sperry Top-Sider, Group Experiential Learning, and author photos for Katherine Howe and Louis Hyman. Presently, she is Vice President of the Salem Arts Association.

    On July 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., she will present the first of two free workshops at the Salem Arts Association building at Artists' Row. The topic of the first workshop will be the creative side of photography. The workshop is open to all ages; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants are welcome to bring a camera. Weather permitting, there will be time to take photos. A second session will take place on Tuesday, August 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. Topics will include work flow and photo storage.

    Katherine Howe Book Talk: The House of Velvet and Glass

    • Artists' Row, 24 New Derby Street, Salem, MA
    • Saturday, July 14, 3 p.m.

    Photography Workshop with Laura Dandaneau

    • Artists' Row, 24 New Derby Street, Salem, MA
    • Part 1: Saturday, July 21, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (Dandaneau will discuss the creative side of photography. Participants are welcome to bring a camera. There will be time to shoot.)
    • Part 2: Tuesday, August 7, 7–9 p.m. (Participants are welcome to bring in images from Part 1 of the workshop. Dandaneau will discuss work flow and have a 'round table' discussion.)


  • Tuesday, July 03, 2012 9:30 AM | Ellen Garvey
    July Retail Call for Art
    TAKE-IN is scheduled at the SAA Gallery on Artistsʼ Row on Saturdays, July 7 and 21, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    Visit the Salem Arts Association website to view the Call for Art and to join the association.
  • Monday, June 18, 2012 1:08 PM | Deleted user

    Call for a Muralist--The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) seeks an artist to design and paint a mural that includes a scale map of the Mystic River Watershed in the parking lot of the Mystic Lakes Dam in Medford, Massachusetts. The map/mural will highlight natural features of the Mystic River Watershed as well as orient people to the watershed. Community engagement is desired in this project, such as during the design process, painting, or a public unveiling.This public art project is intended to replace a map of the watershed at this location that was erased by construction activity associated with renovation of the dam by the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation.The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, have experience designing and painting at this scale, and be able to oversee the project independently.

    This is a part-time, project based position. Work is to be completed during the summer and fall of 2012.The Mystic River Watershed Association is a non-profit, environmental advocacy organization that works to protect and restore the Mystic River and its watershed lands. Read more about MyRWA’s work here.To apply please submit the following to 1. Relevant training and experience 2. Design proposal 3. Description of how you will involve the public in this project 4. Project timeline 5. Project bid that covers all materials costs (not to exceed $4,000) Deadline to apply: July 20, 2012

  • Friday, June 15, 2012 4:46 PM | Ellen Garvey

    Call for Art - SAA July Show


    ABSTRACT: A Group show sponsored by

    Salem Arts Association

    July 3- July 31, 2012   

    Salem Arts Association Gallery on Artists' Row in Salem, MA
    24 New Derby St., Unit #4
    Download the call for art by clicking on one of these links: pdf, doc

    The show is open to all active members of Salem Arts Association, and there is no entry fee.
    To become a member of Salem Arts Association and see other benefits of membership, please visit our website.
  • Thursday, June 14, 2012 12:49 PM | Deleted user

    The Meadow Glen Mall is hosting a photography contest in association with the Medford Arts Center Inc. Photos may be submitted anytime before June 30th which will then be on display in and around Center Court from July 1st through July 16th. Anyone can enter the contest and it is open to all ages. Substantial prizes will be given out to the First, Second and Third Place Winners of this fun community event.

    Entries must be submitted as a hard copy to the Mall Management Office by June 30th, 2012.

    Only ONE photo entry can be made from each participant.

    THE PHOTOS MUST BE NEW ENGLAND THEMED but can be a photo of anything.

    Photos must be tasteful and appropriate for a varied audience.

    Photos are to be unframed and matted. Mat should be 11 X 14 or larger depending on the size photo that is being submitted.

    The submissions may be mailed or dropped off directly to the Mall Management Office.

    All submissions should be made in an envelope and be labeled Photo Contest.

    On the envelope include your full name, address, phone number and email.

    Entries will then be displayed in the mall from July 1st through July 16th so that the general public can complete ballots to select their favorite photo.

    Ballots will be placed in drop box located at Customer Service and will be accepted up until July 16th. Votes will be tallied and reveal the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Winners.

    Please email with any questions you may have, thank you!

    (Participants may pick up their photos at the mall at the conclusion of the contest)

    1st Place $250

    2nd Place $150

    3rd Place $100

    For more information, contact:

    Timothy M. Thurrott

    Marketing Manager

    781 395 1010 ext. 222

    Meadow Glen Mall

    3850 Mystic Valley Parkway

    Medford, MA. 02155


  • Thursday, June 07, 2012 12:10 PM | Ellen Hardy
    Come on down to our opening of the PEOPLE'S CHOICE show and vote for your favorite! The winner will be on display during the month of July with a special citation.
    Opening reception is June 9th from 4-6 pm.
  • Wednesday, June 06, 2012 7:33 PM | Deleted user
    Artists are welcome to exhibit and sell their work at the 30th Annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival to be held August 25–26 at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina, 10 White St., Salem. Our web site at will give you the flavor of the event. Please contact Pat at 617-666-8530 or if you are interested.

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