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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.

We encourage members to share posts from this news feed on Facebook and all your social networks. 


  • Wednesday, November 18, 2015 3:15 PM | James Bostick (Administrator)

    Enjoy even more art by more of our artists as we bring in additional work just for these special days. Please join us!

    SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS

    DECEMBER 5 & 6 and DECEMBER 12 & 13


    Music by James Eric Rogers on piano December 5th

    and accordian by Tom Persinos on December 12 th


    RSVP to our Facebook post 

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1646566312267098/


  • Wednesday, November 11, 2015 11:08 AM | James Bostick (Administrator)

    Create a piece of Arnold Arboretum history…enter our contest to design the 2016 Lilac Sunday t-shirt!

    The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University invites artists of all ages to submit their designs for Lilac Sunday 2016. Lilac-themed t-shirts have been a tradition at Lilac Sunday for many years, and continue to be a highly anticipated and popular memento of this event.

    Submission Guidelines:

    • Designs must be original artwork for the front of a t-shirt, suitable for men and women. Color of t-shirt to be determined by the Arboretum staff, but suggestions on color are welcome.
    • Designs must be 2- to 4-color for t-shirt screen printing (white is considered a color).
    • Competition is open to all ages.
    • Each artist may submit up to three designs.
    • Deadline for submissions is December 15, 2015.
    • Please submit a digital file of your design (.pdf, .eps, .ai, .jpg, .psd). Illustrator vector format is preferred. Winning artwork must be delivered as vector artwork or as high-resolution (600 epi) scan at the final print size.

    Winning Artwork

    Winning artwork becomes the property of the Arnold Arboretum. Colors and fonts may be altered at Arboretum discretion. Artwork may be used in other promotional materials for Lilac Sunday, possibly including but not limited to day-of-event signage and temporary tattoo. Submissions will be evaluated based on how well they reflect the spirit, history, and beauty of Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum. The competition will be judged by Arnold Arboretum staff. The winner will be announced in January 2016. The winner will receive ten t-shirts, a 1-year household membership to the Friends of the Arnold Arboretum, and have their name credited, if desired, on all promotional materials.

    Send us your designs!

    Send submissions (digital file only; see criteria above):


    Email: arbweb@arnarb.harvard.edu

    Or mail: Lilac Sunday T-shirt Design Competition, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130 

    Click Here for More Information



  • Tuesday, November 10, 2015 7:46 AM | Anonymous

    The Cloister Gallery at St. Andrew’s Church is featuring an exhibition of artwork by local artists Judy Beals, Janet Juel Cook and Patricia Dunbar.  The show will open with a reception on Sunday November 8th from 11:15am-12:30 p.m. and run through Thursday January 14th.  The Cloister Gallery at St. Andrew’s Church is located at 135 Lafayette St., Marblehead. The Gallery hours are M-Th 9am-4pm, F 9am-12pm, Sa 8:30-11:30am, Su 8am-12pm.  The Gallery is handicapped accessible.  For more information, please call 781-631-4951 or visit standrewsmhd.org/cloistergallery.html. 

    Judy Beals has adventured into watercolor, acrylic, encaustic, collage, print- making, and pastels.  Her subject matter focuses on the layers of our earth:  water, earth, and sky and the spirit and energy that connects them.  Janet Juel Cook draws her inspiration from her native North Shore area.  Painting in oils, she depicts familiar outdoor scenes of the ocean, beach, still life, landscapes, and children playing by the shore.  Patricia Dunbar is a life-long designer, with an interest in typography, drawing, photography, and painting.  Pat paints with transparent watercolor as she loves watercolor for the clear colors, the transparency, and the washes that can be built up to create interesting surfaces.

  • Tuesday, September 22, 2015 9:48 AM | James Bostick (Administrator)

    Flux public opening reception is Saturday, September 26, from 4-8 p.m.

    Music by B.J. O’Reilly

    Salem Arts Association’s 9th PEM Inspirational Show based on the Peabody Essex Museum’s Strandbeests 

    about: alteration, change, flow, fluctuation, fluidity, instability, modification, motion, mutability, course, draught, drift, ebb and flow, flood, progression, stream, tide, passsage, make fluid, melt, fuse...

    Trevor Smith, Curator of the Present Tense at the PEM for Strandbeests, will jury this special exhibit. 

    The exhibit is located at the Salem Arts Center, 179 Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts.

    The exhibit will run September 17– October 17, 2015.

    For more info contact president@salemartsassociation.org.

    Salem Arts Association is a non-profit organization.

  • Tuesday, August 11, 2015 8:21 AM | Anonymous

    Please join us for our grand opening celebration at the Salem Arts Center, Thursday, September 10th from 4-8 pm at 179 Essex Street in Salem. There will be live music and refreshments.


  • Friday, August 07, 2015 11:40 AM | Anonymous

    The Salem Arts Association is currently in search of members (of at least one year) to fill officer positions for the Jan.-Dec., 2016 term.  If you are interested in serving S.A.A. in any of these roles or have any questions, please contact us before September 1st with the postition in which you are interested.  We are also looking to add to our Board of Directors. If anyone has any recommendations of a community leader who would help S.A.A. continue to grow and develop, please contact us also by Sept.1st.

  • Tuesday, July 14, 2015 6:38 PM | Anonymous

    The former Bernard’s Jewelers in the Pedestrian Mall at 179 Essex St., Salem, Mass. is slated to be the new home for the Salem Arts Association (SAA) jointly with the Salem Collective of Artists and Musicians (SCAM). This pivotal space for the arts community is being made available by the Peabody Essex Museum which owns the Bernard’s property. This new venue will now be called Salem Arts Center with occupancy of the lease slated for July 1.

    SAA President, Ellen Hardy has said that “For over 20 years, I have waited for an opportunity to have an art center and SAA is grateful to the PEM for this chance to share our talents and engage the public.” Likewise, Laura Potter of SCAM added, “I share Ellen’s excitement about this generous opportunity the PEM is giving the local art community and look forward to working with SAA to create an art center for locals and visitors alike. I can’t wait to show what we can accomplish together.”

    A soft opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, July 23rd from 4-8 p.m. A grand opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, September 10th from 4-8 pm. For more information, including art space and scheduling, contact SAA President, Ellen Hardy at <egh.arts@gmail.com> or 508-783-6591 and through www.SalemArtsAssociation.org or Laura Potter at <salemcollective@gmail.com> or through www.facebook.com/salemcollective

  • Thursday, July 09, 2015 11:42 AM | Anonymous

    Recently Massachusetts lawmakers passed the FY2016 state budget, which includes a $14.16 million investment in the state’s arts, cultural, and creative community. This is an 18% increase in funding over last year's $12 million Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) budget.

    Your advocacy has shown that arts and culture help build vibrant and connected communities across the Commonwealth. Over the past three years, the Commonwealth’s investment in the creative community has increased by 49% from $9.5 million to $14.16 million

    This year’s additional increase in state arts funding would not have been possible without the collective voice of the creative community:

       More than 250 arts leaders and supporters met with over 70 representatives and senators during our Arts Matter Advocacy Day in March at the Citi Wang Theatre and the MA State House.

       Arts and cultural supporters sent 5,231 emails to Gov. Baker and the State Legislature showing them that arts matter in Massachusetts.

       The creative community recruited 103 representatives and 20 senators, a total of 123 out of 200 state legislators to sign on to amendments calling for an increase to the MCC budget.

    The budget now heads to Governor Baker’s desk, where he has 10 days to sign off on the plan.

    Send a quick note to the governor voicing your support for the budget. 

    Congratulations on building momentum for the creative community.

    Keep up the good work,

    Matt Wilson, MASSCreative

    http://www.mass-creative.org/    

  • Friday, June 05, 2015 1:34 PM | Anonymous

    As you surely know, the Salem Art Festival kicks off tonight for a full weekend of festivities!  If you are looking for your SAA friends you can find many of us tonight at the Festival Kick-Off Reception at Old Town Hall from 6-9, and at Adriatic Bar and Restaurant from 9:00 on.  (Our Front Street reception has moved to Old Town Hall to join the Salem Arts Festival opening night festivities!)

    SAA artists are participating in the Salem Arts Walk and have exhibits at Front Street Coffee House, Adriatic Restaurant and Bar, and Lightshed Photography for the month of June. Several SAA members are also exhibiting in the juried gallery at Old Town Hall. It's going to be a beautiful weekend; come downtown and enjoy the art!

  • Wednesday, June 03, 2015 6:08 PM | Anonymous

    On Tuesday, June 16, at 6:00 the city will host a community forum to discuss the future vision of Artist Row with a goal to spur revitalization of the space. The discussion will focus on design,  uses and programming, and management and operations.  Please see the attached flyer for more information.

    632015_91713_0.png



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