What’s showing at Salem galleries, museums in July

In July, Salem’s galleries will share the history of drag performance in the Willamette Valley and celebrate regional photography. 

Here’s a roundup of July’s gallery and museum exhibitions.

Salem Art Association

600 Mission St. S.E.

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12 – 4 p.m.

Admission: Free


July 5 through August 25

A two month exhibition with accompanying performances will celebrate the Willamette Valley drag community. 

“Drag is a mirror held up to society in a master class that turns the performance of gender on its head,” said curator Jessica Rehfield in a statement. “Drag is a fantasy, a form of self-expression for those who are oppressed and the highest form of rebellion and comedy – a parody.”

The exhibit will share the history of drag alongside portraits and interviews with local performers. Displays will showcase the backdrops, costumes, wigs and makeup from performances. Salem’s RiRi Calienté served as the lead consultant for the exhibition.

A special soirée will take place on Friday, July 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with performances. The performance is free, and RSVP is online.

There will also be three drag performances followed by a Q&A, on July 26, Aug. 9 and Aug. 23, all at 6:30 p.m. The interviews will focus on their paths to becoming professional drag performers. See more information on the Salem Art Association’s website.

GROWING UP – Material Girl

Artist Kay Worthington’s exhibition “Material Girl,” looks back on the artists’ lifelong love of clothes, fashion and unlikely color combinations.

Mentors helped teach Worthington watercolor, life drawing, and how to push the boundaries of what art can be, according to a gallery statement. She went on to make illustrations and graphics at the Statesman Journal newspaper for over two decades.

“The sureness of her watercolors is apparent. Her use of personal storytelling and the ability to carry us beyond her own narrative through drawing and painting and collage gives these pieces interest and relevance,” the statement reads. 

There will be an opening reception on Friday, July 5, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. where Worthington will be there to discuss her work.

Work by artist Kay Worthington, who’s “Material Girl” exhibition will be on display at the Salem Art Association this month (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


“Looking From the Inside Out,” a ceramic wood-fire featuring LGBTQ+ artists, will be on display this month. 

The downtown gallery’s guest artist for July is Cindy Ingram, a queer artist and creator of The Happy Hill Homestead, a Cottage Grove flower farm. 

“When Cindy is not growing flowers, they are painting dramatically colorful and happy one of a kind works of art,” said Salem on the Edge in a statement. 

Many of the artists will be there to talk about their art on First Friday, July 5, from 5-8 p.m. There will also be wine and treats. See the gallery’s Facebook event for more details.

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

ON FILM, DIGITAL AND COLLAGE – Photography Invitational

July 5 through July 27

The annual photography invitational show will open on First Friday, July 5, with an event from 5-8 p.m. The artists captured scenery, portraits, abstract images, collages, animals and more.

Last month, the gallery also dedicated a new Founders’ Gallery space, in what was formerly a framing room. It’s the fourth art space in the gallery, and Artists in Action plans to start teaching classes there.

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 June’s World Beat festival, which highlighted Ukraine. 

Dancers from the Barvinok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble on stage at the World Beat Festival held at Riverfront Park on Saturday, June 29, 2024. (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)

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.

MIXED MEDIA AND PERFORMANCE–- Dennis Evans: Apocrypha 

Through August 31

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

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

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. 

July events

Here’s a roundup of events happening throughout Salem this month.

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.