Log in
Log in

Our Roots Run Deep: A Celebration of Culture, Heritage, and Diversity

In celebration of Salem Ancestry Days, Salem Arts Association features artists artworks that celebrate our artists' culture and heritage. From portraits of our ancestors to a celebration of traditional visual culture, our artists tapped deep into their roots for inspiration.

Reception:  Friday, April 7, 2023, 6:00-8:00PM

Exhibition Dates: April 8 - May 13, 2023

Our Guest Juror: Kate Fox

Kate Fox is the Executive Director of Destination Salem, the Office of Tourism & Cultural Affairs in Salem, Massachusetts, where she oversees the destination marketing efforts for the city of Salem and manages a new visitor information center that opened in October, 2022. Known for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and its monthlong celebration of Salem Haunted Happenings each October, Salem is a unique destination with an important story as well as a dynamic contemporary cultural scene.  A key component of Salem’s economy, the tourism industry supports small independent businesses, provides jobs, and generates more than $140 million in local expenditures annually. Kate is a member of the City of Salem’s Economic Development Recovery & Revitalization (EDRR) Task Force, which was established in March 2020 to focus on business and community support during the pandemic. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Salem Chamber of Commerce, the Salem Main Streets Steering Committee, is a Commissioner for the Essex National Heritage Commission, is a past president of the North of Boston Convention & Visitors board of directors and is a North Shore LEADS Fellow.  

Kate lives in Beverly with her husband, Matt Fox. They have two sons, who are both students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  In her free time, Kate enjoys photography, baking, and kayaking on local waterways. Kate holds a BA in English with a minor in Religious Studies from William Smith College. 


“Chores” By Mary Curcio

The way the girl is holding the bucket captured my attention and held it as I explored the galleries. I see in this painting a family story of chores and responsibility, and a little bit of struggle as she completes the day’s work. Sometimes it’s hard to hold onto the bucket and feed the hungry chickens at your feet!  I love the expectation painted into the dark chicken on the right. 

– Kate Fox, Executive Director, Destination Salem

“Alice and Mikes American Dream”
By Sheila Farren Billings

This painting makes me crave summertime. I want to visit this hydrangea-lined home that is painted with careful brush strokes. This painting suggests going home, at any age and any time.  The gambrel roof, black shutters, green awning, and full garden will be there to take in its family and their visitors.

– Kate Fox, Executive Director, Destination Salem

“Bathing Beauties” By Janet Schwartz


These women evoke old family photos of my mother and her friends at the beach without a care in the world. The faces only show smiles that illustrate a bond between sisters or friends, either way it’s unbreakable. I also like the way shadows and fabric are drawn to give a three-dimensional effect.

– Kate Fox, Executive Director, Destination Salem


“Coming to Salem” By Simeen Brown

This is a lovely representation of traditional maritime painting; the Friendship in all her glory with the Custom House, Hawkes House, and Pedrick’s Store House in the background. There is great motion in the white caps and sails, and the lettering around the border is evocative of wood carving.  Be ye as wise as serpents!

– Kate Fox, Executive Director, Destination Salem

“Family Tree” By James Bostick

The fascination with ancestry and family trees is well illustrated here, as the family history sprouts up behind the young family on the floor.  This image is a great reminder to go back to the family albums that are often neglected in favor of online memories. The albums hold many keys to our stories.

–  Kate Fox, Executive Director, Destination Salem

“Terrarium” By Raymond Gilbert

These roots run deep. I like the aquatic, coral feel of the painting and the juxtaposition of the light and the dark with the added complexity of the layered newsprint and contrasting circles.

– Kate Fox, Executive Director, Destination Salem

“Fayga Rifka's Dream” By Heidi Kepnes

This is a somber reminder that ancestry is not always about the famous, exceptional people that families can claim; it also includes stories of immigration and people whose connections to home are still there, even as they are cut away from the places they love. I found the layers of this piece to be stirring and emotional.

– Kate Fox, Executive Director, Destination Salem

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