There's a lot happening in the arts community in and around Salem.
Ellen Hardy, Interim Executive Director and Henry Zbyszynski, President. Photo by John Hurley
SALEM, MA—There’s a lot happening in the arts community in and around Salem. While the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) pushes past the Boston Museum of Fine Arts with extraordinary fundraising and a new vision for our region, the local art group Salem Arts Association (SAA) is growing and expanding. Ellen Hardy, President of SAA for two-and-half years has stepped into the new position of Interim Executive Director and Henry Zbyszynski has been voted in as their new President. The SAA continues to draw members from Salem and the surrounding region.
Each year the city awards space on Artists’ Row, selecting from those who submit proposals. This year, unlike past one-year contracts, the SAA was awarded a three-year contract for its space on Artists’ Row. The SAA brings five exhibits each season and a rotating array of local art work in the retail area of its Artists’ Row space. In addition to art, the SAA provides educational workshops and hosts music on the Row.
For the last six years, the SAA has looked to the world class neighboring PEM to be inspired—to ask its members to look, to study, and to create something in response to one of the PEM exhibitions. This year, some 60 artists’ works were judged by Paula Richter—Curator for Exhibitions and Research at the PEM—for Off the Top of Your Head.
The space on Artists’ Row is a wonderful boost to the local arts community and SAA; but the show area at the Row is never big enough to display the work that is entered for the SAA’s PEM inspired show. In years past, SAA has rented various locations around the city for this show. However, for the last two years the PEM has graciously donated use of the carriage barn of the Andrew-Safford House for the Salem Arts Association show during the month of September.
Each year the work improves—and this year is by far one of the best. This year’s PEM show HATS: An Anthology of Stephen Jones has inspired SAA’s regional artists show Off the Top of your Head. During recent private and public receptions, over 200 guests were treated to a display of outstanding art work.
Please stop by the carriage barn, across from the Hawthorne Hotel, Thursdays through Sundays for the month of September and see some truly terrific inspirations by regional artists! Visit the PEM’s HATS show and then come over to the lovely courtyard and gallery; you will be amazed by the breadth, the talent, and the ingenuity!