Our Roots Run Deep

In celebration of Salem Ancestry Days, Salem Arts Association invited artists to submit artworks that celebrate culture and heritage. From portraits of ancestors to a celebration of traditional visual culture, Salem Arts Association encouraged us to tap deep into our roots for inspiration. It is an open call, both member and non-member artists’ work will be displayed.

My painting for the show is a colorfully imagined image of my childhood home with every flower in every one of my parents’ gardens in bloom all at once. The title of the work is Alice & Mike’s American Dream and it is done in acrylic paint, 12″ x 24″. The painting is not for sale — pretty much the first one ever.

Both of my parents dreamed of owning a house. Mama grew up in a series of very happy apartment homes, but always aspired to have a place where her kids could tap dance any time of day or night! She wanted a place that she knew was hers that she wouldn’t have to move out of because a landlord’s child needed a place to live. Dad was an immigrant and grew up in a violent place where his home was not safe from the unrest in the streets and was repeatedly looted and set on fire — a place where his parents could own their home but not the land underneath it. All he wanted was a safe, happy place that was all his and where he could plant a flower garden.

Once my parents found this little white house, they nestled in and never left. The gardens were sumptuous, full of flowers. The trees were tall and full of fruit. We could have all our friends run and play on the grass and climb the trees. The swing set and porch were magnets for our games. It was a safe, blissful childhood and a very happy home.

The show will be juried by the SAA Jury Committee and will by judged by Kate Fox who 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. 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.  

The opening reception will be held on Friday, April 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and the exhibit will be on display until May 13. Salem Art Association Gallery is located at 159 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970. Gallery hours are every Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon until 6:00 p.m. You can also visit our Online Galleries and Online Shop. www.salemarts.org