ART: September’s artist exhibitions in Salem

This month in Salem, galleries are showcasing a wide variety of work showcasing Indigenous artists, celebrating zines and diving deep into vibrant colors. Here’s your roundup for the art you can see throughout September.

Salem Art Association

600 Mission St. S.E.

Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 12 – 5 p.m.

Admission: Free

There will be a shared reception for all opening exhibits on Friday, Sept. 8, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Bush Barn Art Center & Annex.

INDIGENOUS ART: The Art of Lillian Pitt: Past and Present

Through Oct. 29

An exhibition of art from Pacific Northwest Native American artist Lillian Pitt opens at the Art Association this month. Pitt is self and community taught, and works in a variety of mediums including printmaking, glass and bronze.

Pitt was born in Warm Springs on the Confederated Tribes of the Wasco, Warm Springs and Paiute in 1943, and her ancestors lived in and near the Columbia River Gorge.

“My purpose in my life and artworks is to let everyone know we are still here working, fishing, and making art, baskets, and tools,” her artist statement said. “My ancestors gave me a gift when they did petroglyphs and pictographs to share. When I am working on clay, prints, bronzes, cast and blown glass I am sharing my ancestors with all that I am making. It gives me purpose and a goal with the hopes of educating the audience.”


Through Oct. 1

A dozen Salem artists, writers and creatives have submitted their zines for a show at the Salem Art Association. Zines are small, self-published magazines where people express themselves and share ideas, covering every subject, including identity, science and politics.

Local poet Victoria Timm is September’s artist in residence, and will be in the art association’s studio making zines all month.

“She is extraordinarily queer, neurodivergent and anti-capitalist. Also she really hates car based infrastructure and really loves jazz, sci-fi and books,” her artist bio said.

This month, zines will be available to pick up at the Salem Art Association, or at 16 participating Salem businesses. The association also has kits to make zines available in the Annex Landing.

Check out the Salem Art Association’s explainer video on zines below:


Through Oct. 21

For several years, Santa Fe-based artists Ann Kresge and Mike Nord have been fascinated by murmuration: the patterns and changes in directions birds make when they fly together.

Their exhibit combines Kresge’s prints and paper installations with Nord’s immersive sound design to reflect the experience of watching birds in flight, and the theme of gathering and dispersing throughout nature.

“We thought about this theme and collaboration for several years. I was introduced initially to a murmuration when friends took me to see the Vaux Swifts return to a school chimney in Portland. I did not yet know the word for it but was fascinated by their swirling together en masse into and out of the chimney,” the artists’ statement said. “This activity was mirrored by the many people who gathered to witness it, to share a powerful experience, interact with each other and then disperse.”

TRADITIONAL WEAVING: Zapotec Weaving in the Pacific Northwest

Through Oct. 29

Francisco Bautista grew up in a Zapotec village in Oaxaca, Mexico, where he first learned to weave by sitting under his father’s loom as he worked.

Bautista and his wife, Laura, moved to Sandy in 2003, and brought his foot-pedal loom, named “EL AVENTURERO” with them.

“Even being so far from our roots, we still yearned for infinite possibilities of crossing threads and creating unique pieces. As such, we planted those seeds of inspiration in our new home. This has helped us continue the tradition of weaving which has been in our families for many generations,” his artist statement said.

They weave using hand-spun and dyed wool in the techniques learned from master weavers, and plan to pass on to their children.

Hallie Ford Museum of Art – Willamette University

700 State St. 

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 12 – 5 p.m.

Admission: $8 general, $5 seniors over 55, free to people under 17, students and members. Free admission on Tuesdays.

PRINTS FROM UMATILLA ARTISTS: Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts Biennial

Through Dec. 2

The Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, located on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in northeast Oregon, is the only professional printmaking studio in a reservation community in the U.S.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is the repository for the studio’s print archive, and hosts biennial exhibitions displaying the work of artists made at the studio.

This month, over 20 contemporary prints will be displayed. The exhibit includes work that artists Emily Arthur, Jeremy Okai Davis, John Hitchcock, Lehuauakea, Cory Peeke, Ralph Pugay, Wendy Red Star and Fox Spears made during recent residencies at the institute.

There will be an opening reception for members and invited guests on Saturday, Sept. 16, requiring RSVP by Sept. 8. RSVP is available online, by email to [email protected] or by calling 503-370-6855.

CELEBRATING 25 YEARS – Highlights from the Permanent Collection

Sept. 19 through Dec. 16. 

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art first opened in October 1998, and will celebrate 25 years by showcasing nearly 100 works from its permanent collection, including some on display for the first time.

The art on display comes from the Pacific Northwest and around the world, and spans from ancient to contemporary. The exhibit will also explore the history of the collection and the people who made it happen over the years.

There will be a series of lectures, films, gallery talks and activities in conjunction with the exhibition, starting Sept. 19. The schedule is available online.

Salem on the Edge

156 Liberty St. N.E.

Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 12 – 4 p.m.; closed last Sunday of the month

Admission: Free

“Fanciful Thoughts,” painted by Danya Collins, whose work will be on display at Salem on the Edge through Sept. 30 (Courtesy/ Salem on the Edge)

THE DEEP END OF COLOR – Featured Artist Dayna Collins

Through Sept. 30

Through layering vivid, colorful paint, featured artist Danya Collins’ work displayed in downtown Salem this month asks a series of “what if” questions.

“‘What if I do this,’ then I do it. If it doesn’t work, I experiment with something else. During the process, I ask myself: Does it take my breath away? Does it cause a gasp of delight? Does it startle me? The answers to these questions guide my color choices and design elements,” Collins said in her artist’s statement.

FEMINIST ART – Guest artist Tammy Jo Wilson

“Oceans Apart” by Tammy Jo Wilson, whose work will be on display at Salem on the Edge through Sept. 30 (Courtesy/ Salem on the Edge)

Through Sept. 30

Tammy Jo Wilson is a Black, female artist and curator living in Portland, whose work includes vibrant colors and painted figures and is rooted in the feminist art movement, according to her website.

“I seek to share through my work an expanded view of the black female experience in the twenty-first century. I am speaking to those among us that are looking for a broader understanding of commonalities rather than differences,” her statement said.

Wilson is the director of the Bush House Museum’s exhibits and programming at the Salem Art Association. Her work will be shown at Salem on the Edge all month, and can also be seen at the Portland Art Museum’s “Black Artists of Oregon” show through March 17.

WHIMSICAL STREETSCAPES – Visiting artist Brad Earl

Artist Brad Earl is visiting from Sisters, Oregon, and will have work on display at Salem on the Edge for the next few months.

“I’m an architect and self-taught artist, with a somewhat whimsical spin on streetscapes and scenes of everyday life, including old Typewriters and Tractors,” he said in a statement shared by Salem on the Edge. 

Willamette Heritage Center

1313 Mill St. S.E.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Admission: $10 adult, $8 seniors over 65, $6 students and children age 6-17


Through Oct. 7

Prompted by the renewed focus on health during the Covid pandemic, the Willamette Heritage Center invited museums and community organizations in the area to share artifacts to address questions of what it means to be healthy, and how that idea has changed over time.

Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.

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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.