CULTURE: June’s art, history and exhibitions

This month, galleries in Salem will celebrate nature, unveil two new portraits of Black pioneers and depict the human form.

Here’s what’s showing this month.

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

STILL LIFE – Sarah Ciampa and Patti McNutt

This month, the gallery’s featured artist is Sarah Ciampa, a still life painter. Her work pays close attention to detail. 

“Her use of unconventional objects for her paintings make you stop and think, what story is being told?” according to a gallery statement.

She will be at the gallery for the First Friday Art Walk, on June 7 from 5 – 8 p.m., to discuss her paintings.

June’s guest artist is Patti McNutt, who lives in Eugene and has been featured in three of the gallery’s En Plein Air shows, where artists take their canvases throughout Salem to capture the outdoors. 

“For me painting or drawing is a communication from the heart. Each piece is a confetti of joy felt when creating art. It is a thrill when someone understands the message I am trying to convey,” she said in a statement. 

Sarah Ciampa, “Ocean Calligraphy 1”, oil on panel, 18” x 24” (Courtesy)

Elsinore Framing & Fine Art Gallery/Artists in Action

444 Ferry St. S.E.

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

Admission: Free

TINY PAINTINGS – Art in miniature show

Opening June 7 

The gallery is hosting its annual Art in Miniature Show, featuring more than 50 original, tiny pieces by 18 local artists. 

There will also be 25 new works on display by members of Artists in Action, a Salem nonprofit. Elsinore Framing is also expanding its display space by opening a “Founder’s Gallery” on Friday, June 7, said manager Brent Allen.

The new shows will open during First Friday Art Walk, from 5 – 8 p.m. with a live music performance by Salem ukulele duo My Mother’s Daughter.

The gallery will also host five musicians, during Make Music Day on June 21, Allen said. 

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 for all on Tuesdays. Passes available for checkout at the Salem Public Library.

THE ARTIST’S EYE – Selections from the Gary Westford Collection 

Through Nov. 16

Two exhibitions featuring work by Gary Westford are on display this month.

The Salem artist explores concepts like the environment and social justice, often incorporating current and ongoing social issues. He began his long career as an arts educator at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, according to a gallery description.

One exhibition features selections from his collection. Another exhibition highlights eight paintings made over a six-year period, where the moon plays a key role in depicting the narrative. 

MIXED MEDIA AND PERFORMANCE–- Dennis Evans: Apocrypha 

June 11 through August 31

Dennis Evans, a Seattle mixed-media and performance artist, will have over 30 pieces on display at the gallery starting June 11, including work from his archive, to chronicle his long career. 

His art explores mythology, the Renaissance, psychology and more, and often features collaboration with glass artist Nancy Mee, his wife.

There will be a free, public artist lecture on June 8, starting at 5 p.m. at the Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law, 245 Winter St. S.E.

On June 11, Evans and Mee will do a free gallery talk at Hallie Ford starting at 12:30 p.m.

Willamette Heritage Center

1313 Mill St. S.E.

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

Admission: $10 adults, $8 seniors over 65, $6 students and children ages 6-17. Passes available for checkout at the Salem Public Library.

UNDER THE SEA – The PNW Community Coral Reef Project

Through June 22

Community knit and crochet creations depicting vibrant, healthy corals with marine animals alongside bleached corals will be on display through June. The exhibit aims to engage the audience in a conversation about the significance of coral reefs around the world. 

Students from Salem’s Eagle Charter School contributed to the project.

Salem Art Association

600 Mission St. S.E.

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12 – 4 p.m.

Admission: Free


Through June 23

Six Salem tattoo artists will have their work on display this month in an exhibit celebrating the art form. 

“Salem Art Association wanted to bring this art form into the context of a gallery, so that it can be viewed on its own,” an event description reads.

The artists are Danielle Baca, Eddie Caine, Kinley Hickok, Jordan Karlinski, Vivian McKay and Maximiliano Lozano-Torres. 

AROUND SALEM – Radius 25

Through June 23

An exhibition asked 25 artists living within 25 miles of Salem to create something on the theme of “what matters.” Their wide-ranging answers on display this month include paintings and sculptures.

WHO CAME BEFORE – Footsteps and monuments

Through June 23

Artist Paige Wright has hand-crafted ceramic heads, a celebration of the human form which will be shared this month. 

“Through the meticulous process of hand-building ceramic heads, I construct each piece, coil by coil, step by step. Gradually, a face emerges from the clay. Rather than aiming to replicate a specific person, I seek to uncover a plausible individual through the creative process,” she said in her artist statement. 

Ceramic work by Paige Wright on display at the Salem Art Association this month (Courtesy/ Eliz Snowcarp)

HE WHO PAINTS – Past is present

Through June 30

Don Bailey, an artist from the Hoopa Valley Tribe in Northern California, will have work on display this month. 

“First and foremost, I am a painter. I create complex, richly colorful compositions. I am also Native American, born on the Hoopa Valley Reservation in Northern California. Indian Land, where the past is always present, is where my paintings begin,” his artist statement said.

His work is inspired by musicians Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Gil Scott-Heron, Native activists and a variety of painters. 

Work by Hoopa painter Don Bailey will be on display at the A.N. Bush Gallery throughout June (Courtesy/ Eliz Snowcarp)


At the Bush House Museum on Saturday, June 22, from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Portland artist Jeremy Okai Davis will unveil two new contemporary portraits of Letitia Carson and Thomas C. King commissioned by the Salem Art Association.

The event is free, and Okai Davis will be there to talk about his art. The portraits are part of the ReEnvisioned series to celebrate the long overlooked contributions of early Black pioneers, according to the Salem Art Association.

“As curators of this historic site, we are acutely aware of the harm Asahel Bush inflicted on people of color in our state. We are also aware that people of color are painfully underrepresented in most permanent collections, including ours,” a museum statement said.

Letitia Carson first arrived in Oregon in 1845, either enslaved or formerly enslaved. Thomas C. King spent much of his early life enslaved, before moving to west Salem in the 1890s, before starting a homestead in Tillamook County.

World Beat Gallery

390 Liberty St. S.E.

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

Admission: Free


Through August 2

The World Beat Gallery will showcase a new exhibit featuring stories of the Ukrainian people. The exhibit coincides with the 2024 World Beat Festival, scheduled for June 28-30, which is focused on Ukraine.

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.