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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 St reet. “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 maybe 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 tills as an adventure. The more people you have, the more energy."

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

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



Have news! Members, email your news to: Publicity@SalemArts.org with the subject line "NEWS BLOG POST" if you want your event, show, or news posted in our "News" section. Additionally all posts also go to our Twitter page.

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  • Wednesday, June 15, 2011 9:53 AM | Anonymous
    Frozen
    Thursday, June 30 to Sunday, July 31
    Opening reception:  Saturday, July 9 from 4 to 7 p.m.
    At the SAA Gallery on Artists' Row
    As much as we long for warmth in the long cold months of winter, we long for cool refreshing relief during the hot summer months. The theme for July’s exhibit is “FROZEN”. What can you come up with to bring that theme to life? Be creative. The theme is open to your interpretation.
    IN-PERSON DROPOFF ONLY: Deadline June 27
    Click here for more information and the Artist Call
  • Tuesday, June 07, 2011 10:32 AM | Ellen Hardy

    “DITTO EDITIONS”– June 9, 2011 @ 4 p.m.
    The new owner of Ditto Editions Jay Stewart from Capitol Offset in Concord NH will come down with his business partner and do a meet and greet with the Salem Arts Association members. They will explain how they will continue the business and they have access to the source files from Ditto.  I have worked with them many times over the years and they do excellent gallery catalogs, auction catalogs, and art books. They will  do an awesome job adding this activity to their repertoire! Come down with questions and meet Jay!
    We need to know whether you'll attend---
    PLEASE RSVP to <EGH.ARTS@gmail.com>

    Thanks, Ellen
  • Friday, June 03, 2011 10:00 AM | Deleted user
    WIP: Work in Progress
    Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 26
    Opening reception:  Saturday, June 11 from 4 to 7 p.m.
    At the SAA Gallery on Artists' Row
    It’s time for the first show of the season at Artists Row! For this exhibit we’re looking for pieces that illustrate the meaning of the phrase “Work In progress”.

    UPDATE:
    Our June show WIP: Work in Progress is now hung. Our retail area is filling up with great new work. This weekend the Salem Arts Festival is all over town and you can pick up your Festival program at the Museum Place Mall. And Artists' Row will be hopping with music and entertainment.


    IN-PERSON DROP OFF ONLY: Deadline May 31
    Click here for more information and the Artist Call
  • Sunday, May 15, 2011 5:11 PM | Anonymous
    Salem Arts Festival
    The Salem Arts Festival with SAA sub-component, the Salem Arts Walk.

    ALL FREE IN DOWNTOWN SALEM, THIS WEEKEND…

    • Take a magic carpet ride in Lappin Park
    • Learn to bellydance with the North East Bellydancing Association
    • Admire art from amateurs to professional artists
    • Learn to hoop dance or take an acting improv class

    Over 16 musical performances this weekend, many on our outdoor stage.
    Numerous works of art are on display during the festival.
    There are free art making activities for children. 

    The 2011 Festival Brochure is now available online.

    DOWNLOAD A PRINTABLE COPY

    Arts Walk

    The Salem Arts Festival ARTS WALK component is sponsored by the Salem Arts Association. The Festival is all weekend. The ARTS WALK is Saturday & Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m.

    There are more businesses that signed up to participate this year and therefore more SAA artists are being matched to businesses.

  • Friday, May 06, 2011 12:08 PM | Ellen Hardy
    The Opening Night performance of Salem Theatre Company's production of Tina Howe's comedy Painting Churches on Thursday, May 12 will benefit Salem Arts Association.  STC will donate half of the box office receipts that night to the Salem Arts Association.  The performance begins at  7:30 p.m. and all Salem Arts Association members and their friends are encouraged to attend and support SAA.  Tickets are $35 and available online at www.salemtheatre.com or can be held for pick-up at the door by e-mailing info@salemtheatre.com or by calling 978-790-8546.

    This is a great chance for the SAA to raise the money needed to hire a gallery assistant for our upcoming season on Artists' Row. A sold-out performance means that SAA will receive over $800.   

    The play is about an artist on the verge of celebrity returning to her parent's Beacon Hill home to help them move to the Cape, and - hopefully - paint their portrait in the process.

    Please help us to get the word out by sharing this with your family and friends in the area!
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