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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, April 05, 2012 5:14 PM | Ellen Garvey
    Salem Arts Association is joining Salem Main Streets June 1st, 2nd and 3rd for the Salem Arts Festival. 

    The Salem Arts Association will be organizing the Juried Art Exhibition in the Old Town Hall.  Juried Individuals and groups will share their culinary, visual arts, literary, music, and performing talents with Salem inside and outside. 

    A few days are left before the Salem Main Streets website will stop accepting participate applications.  Go to

    Tell your friends and join the fun by starting Salem's summer art season right - mark your calendar for June 1st, 2nd and 3rd - Salem Arts Festival!
  • Thursday, March 08, 2012 11:18 AM | Deleted user
    The Salem Arts Association (SAA) is pleased to announce Photo Salem: A Group Show of Professional Photography, sponsored by the SAA and the waterfront business center, Shetland Park.

    SALEM, MA—Photo Salem will be on view in the second floor Atrium of Building One at Shetland Park in the Small Business Center at 27 Congress Street in Salem from Friday, March 16 2012 to Saturday, June 30 2012. Visiting hours are 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday–Saturday. Each SAA member photographer participating in Photo Salem will present a small collection of their work.

    From March 16 to June 13, Shetland Arts: A Group Exhibition of Photography and Sculpture will be on view at Shetland Park concurrently with Photo Salem. The Shetland Arts exhibition will be on the first floor of the Atrium of Building One, just below Photo Salem.

    Shetland Park will sponsor a joint opening for Shetland Arts and Photo Salem on March 16, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Salem Arts Association will hold a reception on May 31, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

    Photo Salem: A Group Show of Professional Photography

    • Sponsored by Shetland Park and the Salem Arts Association
    • Shetland Park Waterfront Business Center, 2nd Floor Atrium of Building One, in the Small Business Center, 27 Congress St, Salem, MA
    • Friday, March 16 2012 through Saturday, June 30 2012
    • Visiting hours: 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday–Saturday
    • Shetland Park sponsored reception: Friday, March 16, 4–6 p.m.
    • Salem Arts Association Reception: Thursday, May 31, 4–6 p.m.

    (free and open to the public)

    About the Salem Arts Association: The Salem Arts Association, Inc. is an entirely volunteer-run nonprofit arts organization. In our mission statement, the stress is on the arts, plural. Artists working in all media and all disciplines are welcome, as are arts lovers, enthusiasts, and patrons. Since incorporating as a non-profit corporation on August 31 2007, Salem Arts Association (SAA) has produced close to 40 exhibits, events, and workshops, all free of charge to Salem’s residents and visitors. To date, SAA programming has reached close to 20,000 people. This has been made possible in part through collaborations with numerous local businesses and organizations, including the Art Corner, the City of Salem, the North Shore Writers Group, the Parlor, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and Salem State University.

    For more information or to join the SAA, visit
    SAA contact: Ellen Hardy, SAA President, (508) 783-6591
    Julia C. Bookout
    Communications Chair
    Salem Arts Association
    P.O. Box 226
    Salem, MA  01970
  • Wednesday, February 29, 2012 6:27 PM | Ellen Garvey
    The Future of the Past: Encaustic Art in the 21st Century
    Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts

    From Guido Ciampi, a member of MassWax, the newest chapter of the International Encaustic Artists (IEA), a professional artists’ organization that seeks to raise the level of excellence in fine art encaustic work by providing global information exchange and raising interest about encaustics in the art world and with the general public:

    "We are currently working on organizing an exhibit of encaustic works at the Mills Gallery in Boston..."

    click here for the call for art
  • Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:24 PM | Ellen Hardy
    Patty deGrandpre
    Abstracts/Mixed Media
    "In a Pig's Eye" restaurant
    now thru mid March


    Sheila Billings
    Solo show of abstract art
    Peabody Institute Library of Danvers
    through February 29

  • Wednesday, February 08, 2012 3:56 PM | Ellen Garvey

    Submissions must be received by noon on
    Friday, April 6, 2012.
    Download the submission requirements and details here.

    City of Salem Calls for Submissions to ArtBox 2012
    Winners to Receive Significant Visibility & $500 dollars

    Utility to Beauty
    The City of Salem calls all artists to submit proposals to paint one out of six downtown utility boxes as part of ArtBox 2012. Winning artists will have their work in front of one million people annually and will receive $500.

    With the recent announcement of the Peabody Essex Museum’s pending expansion and last year’s successful Rob Lorenson sculpture series, the city is on the rise as a regional, national and international arts destination.

    In the hopes of promoting individual artists as well as the community’s burgeoning arts scene, ArtBox asks all interested to propose a piece of art that presents his or her visual interpretation of Salem’s cityscape, culture, community pride or art itself.

    Project Background
    Salem’s first art box, located on Essex Street in front of its sponsor’s popular café, has been received very positively. Inspired by its success and the city’s increased artistic momentum, a group of local art appreciators and community leaders came together at the end of 2011 to spearhead ArtBox, a program to transform these utilitarian eyesores into original works of art.

    Beyond adding to Salem’s spirit of creativity, community and innovation, these boxes are meant to beautify and inspire. If successful, ArtBox will be a perennial project. These first boxes will set the bar, generating the buzz and spurring future boxes in the coming yearsundefinedjust as painter Greg Orfanos’ vanguard box on Essex Street has done by adding a splash of creative genius to the street.

    Nuts & Bolts
    Open to all skilled and talented artists, the deadline for submission is Friday, April 6th. The work will be judged by an independent group of creative professionals, including Steven Zevitas, President and Publisher New American Painting and owner of the Boston-based Steven Zevitas Gallery. One box will be painted weekly starting in June.

    A special thanks to local sponsors Waters & Brown Paint & Decorating for providing paint supplies and Gorilla Printing for providing a tent. Winners will be publically announced at the Salem Arts Festival on June 1.

  • Friday, January 27, 2012 4:18 PM | Ellen Garvey
    Small Business Development Center Workshop Successful Self Promotion for Artists 

    Get the lowdown from a successful working artist and teacher who has "been there, done that". Learn how to build your résumé and  your website, and how to create visibility. Reach out to galleries, public libraries and other creative venues. Get into juried art shows and show your art online. She'll tell you what you need to know....what no one has told you.

    The speaker will be Robin Samiljan, artist and teacher at Monserrat College of Art.

    Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
    Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
    Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
    Cost: Free
    Contact: Register online with link below. If you have questions, contact Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or

    Register online

    Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

  • Tuesday, December 13, 2011 2:13 PM | Ellen Hardy
    There are two more days to enjoy the Salem Arts Gallery, December 17th from Noon to 6 pm. A book-signing by local author Nelson Dionne for his book SALEM IN STEREO will take place from 2-4 p.m. and December 22nd, our last Winter Market day! Plan to pick up your work and stay for a closing party with the whole Winter Market team! Winter market is open 2-6 p.m. Party starts at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 07, 2011 3:46 PM | Ellen Garvey
    Come on down to make art, talk, meet some artists on December 10th, our Open Studio Day.
    If you want to open your studio on the 10th let us know and we'll put you on the map!
  • Wednesday, December 07, 2011 12:17 PM | Ellen Hardy

    Art Center Classes!

    Finally Annouced

    Classes for Kids, Teens, Adults, Seniors

    Sign up soon, they will sell out!

    After much anticipation,  ArcWorks   Community   Art   Center  is proud to announce the arrival of our Fall/Winter Class Schedule.  Whether you have little ones, teenagers, are an adult who wants to learn something new, or are a senior who is looking for a fun class, we have something for you!  Our classes are all-inclusive and are offered to all  North   Shore  resident.  For more info, please click on the section titles.

    Once you have made your decisions, please contact Beth Mazzetta at 978-624-2555 or to sign up!

    Kids' Classes (click here)

    Kids’ Maskmaking—Susan Fader
    Saturdays, October 22 or 29, 2011 (1 week)

    Boxes, Bowls & Baskets—Carol Hardick
    Wednesdays, October 26-November 16 (4 weeks)

    Creating Pet Portraits from Photographs for Kids—Jan Condon
    Saturdays, November 5-November 26 (4 weeks)

    Collage with Acrylic: Age 6-12—Eleanor Score
    Wednesdays, December 7-December 28 (4 weeks)

    Printmaking for Kids—Susan Fader
    Saturdays, January 7-January 28 (4 weeks)

    Teen Classes (click here)

    Basic Stencil Making—Elise Towle Snow
    Saturday, October 29 (1 day workshop)

    Basic Rubberstamping—Elise Towle Snow
    Saturday, November 12, 2011 (1 day workshop)

    Advanced Rubberstamping—Elise Towle Snow
    Saturday, November 19 (1 day workshop)

    Watercolor for Pre-teens—Chris Parent
    Wednesdays, October 26-November 16 (4 weeks)

    YA Comic Books—Anna Salvo
    Saturdays, November 12-December 31 (8 weeks)

    T-Shirt Alteration—Janet Souza
    Wednesdays, December 7-December 28 (4 weeks)

    Adult Classes (click here)

    Basic Stencil Making—Elise Towle Snow
    Saturday, October 29 (1 day workshop)

    Basic Rubberstamping—Elise Towle Snow
    Saturday, November 12, 2011 (1 day workshop)

    Advanced Rubberstamping—Elise Towle Snow
    Saturday, November 19 (1 day workshop)

    3D Assemblage—Susan Fader
    Wednesdays, October 26-November 16 (4 weeks)

    Intro to Watercolor—Susan Fader
    Thursdays, October 27-December 8 (6 weeks)

    Basic Drawing for Adults— Elizabeth  Harty
    Thursdays, November 3, 10, 17 & December 1 (4 weeks)

    Starting Your Own Arts Business—Emily Dumas
    Saturday, November 12 & 19 (2 weeks)

    Clay Musical Instruments for Adults—Ethan Hamby
    Wednesdays, November 23-December 14 (4 weeks)

    Pet Portraits for Adults—Jan Condon
    Thursdays, December 1-December 22 (4 weeks)

    T-Shirt Alteration—Janet Souza
    Wednesdays, December 7-December 28 (4 weeks)

    Creativity & Shamanism—Carol  Dearborn
    Saturdays, January 7-February 4 (5 weeks)

    Landscape Painting in Fabric (Textile Collage)—Carol Dearborn
    Wednesdays, December 28-January 18 (5 weeks)

    Book Cut-Outs—Steve Foote
    Wednesdays, January 4-January 25 (4 weeks)

    Expressive Journaling for Women— Joyce   Pass
    Wednesdays, February 1-February 22 (4 weeks)

    Senior Classes (click here)

    Clay Musical Instruments for Seniors Ethan Hamby
    Wednesdays, October 27th- November 17th (4 weeks)

    Senior Handbuilding—Lauren Griffin
    Thursdays, October 27-November 17 (4 weeks)

    Senior Life Drawing—Jason Lapham
    Thursdays, October 27-December 15 (8 weeks)

    Digital Video  Storytelling for Seniors—Sheara Seigal
    Mondays, October 31-December 19 (8 Weeks)

    Intro to Floral Design for Seniors--Cynthia Dempster
    Wednesdays, November 2, 9,16,30 (4 weeks)

    Mask Making for Seniors--Elizabeth Harty
    Thursdays, November 3, 10, 17 & December 1 (4 weeks)

    Basic Drawing for Adults— Elizabeth  Harty
    Thursdays, November 3, 10, 17 & December 1 (4 weeks)

    Senior Watercolor Painting—Anna Salvo
    Wednesdays, December 7-December 8 (4 weeks)

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    ArcWorks   Community   Art   Center
    22 Foster Street
    Peabody, Mass 01960

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