Retired Willamette Professor Xijuan Zhou helped with the exhibit (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

The Salem Multicultural Institute opened the "Impressions of China" exhibition at the World Beat Gallery. Wei Anderson curated the exhibit, which gives a broad overview of Chinese arts, crafts, and traditions. Of particular interest is a handwritten calligraphy scroll created by the late Mr. Hong Yuan Zhang of Beijing. The exquisite detail of the calligraphy is striking, especially as Mr. Zhang created the scroll at the age of 89. 

The exhibit also includes Chinese musical instruments and traditional clothing crafts. Monitors around the gallery feature the music of China and its beautiful landscapes. 

A women’s social group, organized by Dewey Whitton, recently visited the gallery. SMI Executive Director Kathleen Fish had an opportunity to talk about creating the exhibit.  She introduced Xijuan Zhou, who contributed to the displays. Professor Zhou came from the NW part of China. She taught religious studies at Willamette University for over 20 years.

The multicultural institute will also host the popular World Beat Dragon Boat Races.  The World Beat Dragon Boat Club has four teams that practice from March - to October. The dragon boat seats 20 paddlers, a caller, and steersperson. There are two women’s teams, one cancer survivor team, and one mixed-gender team. They practice in the evenings and prepare for various competitions around the Northwest, including at the World Beat Festival. 

Fish was excited to announce the return of the World Beat Festival, which was postponed during the pandemic. World Beat will be at Riverfront Park June 25-26, with an evening event on Friday, June 24, 2022. The institute is seeking sponsors to support the festival.

The China exhibit runs now through May 18. Upcoming lectures and workshops will be posted on SMI’s website and social media sites.  

The gallery has three shows per year and are open year-round Wed-Friday, 11 am-5 p.m. They give the Salem cultural community a welcoming space to share its heritage. It is located at 390 Liberty ST. S.E. in the Pringle Park Plaza. For more information, call 503-581-2004 or visit https://www.salemmulticultural.org/.

Dolls dressed to represent various cultures. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Guests visit the World Beat Gallery (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Dewey Whitton and Allie Saunders attend the World Beat Gallery (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

The World Beat Ceremonial Dragon for the Dragonboat Team (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Traditional Chinese musical instruments (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Hiroko Fish visits the World Beat Gallery (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Executive Director Kathleen Fish and Dr. Kathleen Harder (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Mary Louise VanNatta is a Salem public relations professional writing regularly for Salem Reporter. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on Facebook.

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