CULTURE: March’s art, history exhibitions and events

In March, Salem’s galleries will showcase student artwork, share global celebrations of spring and explore emotion in the abstract. 

Salem Art Association

600 Mission St. S.E.

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12 – 4 p.m.

Admission: Free

YOUTH ARTISTS – Young Artists’ Showcase

Through March 31

The 15th annual Young Artists’ Showcase features work from hundreds of K-12 students, teachers and parents in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties. 

“This is always one of our most popular exhibitions and one you won’t want to miss!” the art association said in a description.

The 2024 Young Artist Showcase at the Salem Art Association (Courtesy/ Salem Art Association)

ART TEACHERS – After hours

Through March 31

The Salem Art Association is showcasing work by artists who have dedicated their time to teaching children in the community about art.

“I believe that it is important that art teachers also make art. It is a vulnerable but glorious pursuit, and since we are asking our students to partake in the journey, it is only fair that we go along with them,” said curator Katie Gilmour in a statement.

The pieces cover a variety of mediums and subjects, including prints, paintings, photography and sculpture.

A cream vase with origami crane designs by Jennifer Joy Loop, an art educator at South Salem High School (Courtesy/ Salem Art Association)

GIRLHOOD – Jennie J. Castle

Through March 31

February’s artist in residence, Jennie J. Castle, will have her work on display in the focus gallery this month. The artist spent the month using cyanotypes, pigments and rubbings to explore her childhood memories.

Work by Jennie J. Castle, February’s artist in residence at the Salem Art Association (Courtesy/ Salem Art Association)

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

MOVING CONCEPTS – Glacial Erratic

Through March 31

When glaciers move, they carry rocks over long distances and eventually drop them far from their origin. The transported rocks are called glacial erratics, and it’s a concept that resonated with artist Seth Allen’s process of painting.

“They often begin as an undefined thought or feeling. As the painting progresses, it becomes clearer until it is dropped – often far from its  origin – churned, twisted and shaped by the glacial movement of life around me,” he said in a statement.

His abstract work inspired by this movement will be at the gallery through March.

Guest artist Joel Fleminger’s colorful abstract art will also be on display. The artist said his work is all about emotional responses.

“Every day I see compositions form with shapes, lines, and color. Sometimes the images overlap what is in front of me. Other times the imagined visuals merge and become integrated with the landscape. This is how my mind visualizes emotions and experiences. It is also the inspiration for where my work begins,” he said in a statement.

Seth Allen, “Ghost”, acrylic on canvas (Courtesy/ Salem on the Edge)

Hallie Ford Museum of Art – Willamette University

700 State St. 

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 12 – 5 p.m.

Admission: $8 general, $5 for seniors. Free admission for children up to age 17, educators and students with ID and museum members. Free admission on Tuesdays. Passes available for checkout at the Salem Public Library.


Through March 30

Twenty-five years worth of work from mixed-media artist Willem Volkersz will be on display through March. Volkersz is internationally recognized, and best known for his use of neon and paint-by-number installations. 

Volkersz was born in the Netherlands, and immigrated to the U.S. after World War II, and studied art at the University of Washington and Mills College in Oakland, California. 


Through April 20

The exhibit highlighting self-taught artists from the permanent collection includes work from well-known contemporary, regional, Midwest and Southern artists, plus newer work from neurodivergent artists in Corvallis and Salem working with the Living Studios program.

It’s the first time the museum has specifically highlighted self-taught artists.

“As the cultural divisions that have led to the othering and separating of many self-taught artists and their work is dissolving, these important artistic voices and their influence are being brought into the larger conversation about contemporary art,” curator Jonathan Bucci said in a statement. 

Elsinore Framing & Fine Art Gallery

444 Ferry St. S.E.

Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Admission: Free

As of late February, the gallery has teamed up with Artists in Action to open a new co-op gallery. The Salem nonprofit has been around for over two decades, supporting artists through gatherings to share techniques, critiques and public events and shows, with about 68 active members.

It’s the first time the nonprofit has had gallery space of its own. Read more below.

Art Department

245 Commercial St. N.E. 

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. –5 p.m. and Sundays 12–5 p.m. 

Admission: Free


The art supply store and Salem Capital Pride have collaborated for an art show which asked 18 artists to share “what being Queer means to you as an artist. This can be your queer journey, how your queer identity impacts your art, your struggles or joys, or a general idea of what queerness is.”

Read more below:

World Beat Gallery

390 Liberty St. S.E.

Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment. 

Admission: Free


Through April 20

The World Beat Gallery is showcasing spring celebrations from around the world, including Nowruz, Songkran, Holi, cherry blossom festival and Walpurgisnacht, according to Executive Director Kathleen Fish.

The exhibit includes a free kids’ cherry blossom craft. There will be a free origami class on Tuesday, March 26, at 1 p.m.

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. Passes available for checkout at the Salem Public Library.

Last month, the Willamette Heritage Center launched a new “Backpack Buddies” program, to teach families about local history through an interactive, self-guided tour. Read more below. 

Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-575-1251.

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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.