Double Opening! 4/13-5/18/24

Nice event tonight! Art Opening for two different exhibitions: Minimalism and the PEM Inspirational exhibit, Friday April 12, 2024 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Salem Arts Association Galleries at 159 Derby Street, in beautiful downtown Salem, Massachusetts. The reception is free and open to public. Music! Refreshments! Fun! And lots and lots of art.

This is Salem Arts Association’s 18th annual Peabody Essex Museum Inspirational Exhibition. Our Time on Earth an amazing exhibit at the PEM is “Part of PEM’s Climate + Environment Initiative, this traveling exhibition from the Barbican Centre in London celebrates the power of global creativity to transform the conversation around the climate emergency.”https://www.pem.org/exhibitions/our-time-on-earth  I was truly excited by this exhibit and plan to go back! I was delighted that my painting, Mother Earth, was juried in to this show.

Mother Earth is an acrylic painting on stretched canvas, 24″ x 30″ framed. The background is mottled metallic paints that change with the light. My father was born in Ireland; the spirals on the Earth’s oceans, the knots of the tree’s roots, and the circle of protecting trees were inspired by my interest in Celtic style art. The ancient Irish worshiped trees. It is meant to remind us to think of all the creatures of the Earth being intertwined.

In the words of the Salem Arts call for artists, Minimalism is a form of abstract art that came about in the 1950’s in the US and spread worldwide. Minimalism was best described as art with no subtext or, “What you see is what you get.”  Salem Arts Association invited our artist members to present the essence of their expression, to strip down their creative process to concepts that represent a world of simplicity where less is more, and to explore and play with the idea that art doesn’t necessarily have to represent a deep thought or evoke emotion – sometimes, it can just… be.

My painting that was juried into the Minimalism exhibit is titled Evacuation Day (acrylic, 24″ x 20″). I painted it one cold, forbidding March 17 — Evacuation Day! A far cry from the color and joy of a St. Patrick’s Day parade. But this is how New England looks in March, and it has its own stark, minimalist beauty. It is was the view from my kitchen window and as I stood at my easel painting it, I was attracted to the tessellating shapes and angles set against the lacy bare trees and their dramatic shadows.

Salem Arts Association is located at 159 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970. We are open every Saturday and Sunday from noon until 6:00 p.m. While you are there to view our art exhibitions, don’t forget to visit our Gallery Shop where you will find all manner of exquisite hand-made creations by our members: jewelry, paintings, textiles, prints, woodworking, pottery, etc.

Contact us: info@SalemArts.org




Inspired by PEM 6/23-7/29/23

Salem Arts Association members reflect on the Shelagh Keeley: Drawn to Place exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum. The exhibition features artwork that inspired by the past, present, and future of Salem, the North Shore, and Massachusetts; SAA members’ relationship to this area; and by the PEM and Phillips Library collections, the collections of local cultural institutions and homes, and the legendary people and families who called the North Shore their home. 

My artwork juried into the exhibition is a mixed media piece, Stairway to Heaven, 20″ x 24″ matted and framed. It is meant to illustrate one of my favorite rock & roll classics by Led Zeppelin. A charcoal drawing showing the hips and legs of a skeleton ascends a staircase made of cut outs from music to the song. The drawings in Shelagh Keeley’s installation at the PEM employ charcoal and subdued colors which remind me of this piece.

The exhibit will be on display at Salem Arts Association’s beautiful seaside gallery, 159 Derby Street, Salem, MA. The show runs from the opening reception on Friday, June 23 until July 29, 2023. Gallery hours are 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Please also visit our gallery shop featuring unique items handmade by Salem Arts Association members!


Observance: Inspired by PEM 2022

Salem Arts Association members reflect on the Zachari Logan: Remembrance exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum and the Covid-19 pandemic to create works in observance of our personal and collective experience.  Members were asked for work that reflects grief, anger and loss in addition to hope and remembrance.

I chose to concentrate on the remembrance aspect and am delighted that my painting, Free Birds Too, was juried in to the exhibit. This painting represents my memories of rearing my three children through good times and bad. Now that my husband and I are in the autumn of our lives, our children are grown and have flown the parental nest to make lives of their own. They are certainly Free Birds, and at first I was heartbroken to see them go! However, I am happy to have learned that this has given my husband and me a new chance to connect as a couple, to live our lives for and with each other again and remember why we fell in love. It turns out that we are Free Birds Too.

Free Birds Too is painted in acrylic on canvas and is 12″ x 15″ framed. The background is painted with many layers of metallic paints and glazes, inspired by the backgrounds on some of the paintings and panels I have admired in the Asian collection at the Peabody Essex Museum. I like this process because it gives the painting warmth and depth and causes it to look very different in various lights. The three trees represent my three children, who can be seen flying into the distance. The swirling leaves represent the passage of time. And the two blackbirds sitting together in one of the trees are my husband and me, snuggled together, free as birds.

The exhibit Opening Reception will be held Friday evening, July 1, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. The Exhibition Dates are July 2 through August 27, 2022. The show can be seen online at www.salemarts.org and in person at the Salem Art Association Gallery at 159 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01907. Gallery and shop hours are Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 6:00 p.m. 978-745-4850.