At the start of last year, before the pandemic shut everything down, Salem Arts Association moved to their new galleries at 159 Derby Street. Not only did this move give Salem Arts a wonderful, historic location and a host of unique gallery spaces, it also made possible the opportunity to offer art studio space as a major component of an Artist in Residence program. That studio space has recently become the work space of Salem Arts’ first Artist in Residence.
“Salem Arts Association has been fortunate to experience continuous growth over the past 14 years. With our ongoing progress and the move to our new home in Salem’s historic Waterfront District we have also gained the space and the opportunity to offer our Artist in Residence program. The residency allows Salem Arts the chance to foster an environment for creative expression, and provide opportunity for exhibition and promotion of the Artist in Residence creative output. Sara Ashodian has a tremendous talent and a history of supporting our organization since our early days on Artists’ Row to where we are now. We are honored and privileged to have Sara as our Artist in Residence. We look forward to seeing Sara Ashodian’s creative spirit flourish under our roof. “
- James Bostick, Past President and Current Director – Salem Arts Association
Sara Ashodian has agreed to a three-year term as the first Artist in Residence. Sara’s art career is extensive, beginning with a degree from Mass Art. She has been exhibiting in the arts community of greater Boston for over 25 years, along with being involved in a variety of arts community groups helping to promote and raise awareness of the visual arts. Her first board experience with the Brickbottom Artists Association was pivotal to her continued involvement in community building. Since then she has served as President of United South End Artists where she also served as an Advisor to the Board. In this capacity she wrote grants to fund the website for United South End Artists and another to promote the USEA on a year-round basis. Sara served on the board of The Boston Open Studios Coalition a group that brought together all the Boston Open Studios art organizations to better promote Open Studios as a main cultural attraction in the city. She has been a member of the Brickbottom Artists Association, the Cambridge Artists Association, Reclamation Artists, LynnArts and Salem Arts. At LynnArts she has served on the gallery curatorial committee that was charged with reviewing potential proposals for exhibits as well as advising on juried shows for future exhibits. Sara was also invited back to her alma mater Mass Art to be a part of a panel discussion and to jury the All School Show. She was part of a review panel at Boston Center for the Arts charged with reviewing proposals for their visiting curators’ program and served on a panel for the MBTA reviewing and choosing an artist for the new Red Line station. She was featured in a "Ceramic Technique" CD ROM for Prentice Hall publishing. She also curated two exhibits for Environmental Arts on North Canal in Lawrence, MA and curated an exhibit for Mass Horticultural Society and their home office, Elm Bank in Wellesley, MA
After moving to Salem Sara was instrumental in conceiving the first Open Studios event in Salem and was active in renewing interest in reviving the Salem Arts Association. While in Salem Sara also was appointed to the Salem Cultural Council serving two consecutive three year terms.
As Salem Arts Artist in Residence, Sara is developing plans for community engagement in the arts. The goal is to involve the entire community in the creation of art work that ultimately is publicly displayed. She also plans to make herself and her studio space available to the community for more personal, one-on-one engagement. This focus on community outreach will add to the growing excitement around Salem Arts. As Sara said, “You never know how art will happen!