May 31, 2022

10 Things to Do This Weekend at Salem Arts Festival

by Felicia Cheney

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Salem Arts Festival returns this weekend (June 3-5) in all of its glory for three days of art, music, poetry, performance, vending, and general spectacle. Because the schedule of events happening in and around Salem is so jam packed, we’ve decided to help you out by selecting 10 of the best happenings going on this weekend.

But don’t just trust our judgment, check out the full festival schedule here.

1. 6th Annual Mural Slam

The City of Salem’s Public Art Commission and the Salem Arts Festival are teaming up to present the 6th annual SAF Mural Slam. This dynamic live painting event engages the public with creative producers and contributes to downtown Salem’s cultural vitality.

Amol Saraf

2. Community Art Project: Lifelines, Reflections on Connecting and Letting Go

Introducing “Lifelines: Reflections on Connecting & Letting Go” — the 2022 Salem Arts Festival Community Art Project led by local artist and owner of Grace & Diggs, Linda Mullen.

The theme of this year’s Salem Arts Festival is “connections.” When thinking about all that represents connection, our team thought of lifelines. Lifelines are a device useful to ancient sailors and still used today. They consist of two elements: a Monkey’s Fist Knot and a rope.

The monkey’s fist knot is devised to encase a cannonball, thereby weighting one end of a rope. The weight allows the rope to be launched and to soar through the air to reach those in distress. This is a rich metaphor for connection and letting go. Sometimes we need to be held, connected, and protected, and other times we need to fly.

We are calling on the community to join us in constructing a giant sculpture inspired by lifelines.

The Lifelines sculpture will be constructed of recycled water bottles and k-cups strung together in the image of strands of rope. These pieces will be handcrafted by residents across three weekend workshop sessions leading up to the Salem Arts Festival.

During the Salem Arts Festival, the strands will unfurl along the street, roof tops, and lamp posts of Artists’ Row, connecting to organically round shapes that represent monkey’s fist knots.

3. Saturday Night Afterparty in Charlotte Forten Park presented by Salem Jazz and Soul Festival

Salem Jazz and Soul Festival’s First Saturday Series for June will be held in partnership with Salem Arts Festival! Come to Charlotte Forten Park on June 4th at 7:30 for some local live music favorites: Qwill and Sweet Soul Sounds.

4. A Wide Assortment of Street Fair Vendors

Salem Arts Fest will feature vendors on Derby Square, Charlotte Forten Park and the Salem Common. Explore all the nooks and don’t forget to pop into the local stores as so many of them also feature local artisans!

5. The Alquemie Project Public Viewing

The Alquemie Project is dedicated to the belief in the transformative power of art to support humanity and build community. This juried art exhibition is sponsored by Jolie Tea Company, Salem, MA. On June 3th and 4th, public viewing and public voting will take place. Award winners are announced and prizes awarded on June 5th.

6. Performances

There are three days of events and performances! We can’t choose this for you. Please check out this incredible schedule.

7. Celebrate Salem Art Week at Salem Athenaeum

Celebrate Salem Art Week! Sign up for the Salem Athenaeum’s free tour of their art collection w/Dr. Franny Zawadzki. Discover some of the unexpected treasures in one of the oldest libraries in America! Space is limited. Reserve now for the 6/2 or 6/3 tour:

8. Caitlin Karolczak – Imitations Of Mortality at The Salem Art Gallery

Artist’s Reception with Caitlin in attendance:
Caitlin Karolczak: Imitations of Mortality // Artist’s Reception
Saturday, June 4, 6:00–8:00pm
(Free and open to the public, no ticket required)

“Throughout history, women have been more commonly recalled as muses than artists. Caitlin Karolczak lays claim to both, using both self-portraiture and other imagery in reclamation of identity. Her art practice also exhibits a preoccupation with the male portrait, examining prevalent notions of fetishization and oft-not-seen vulnerability. Karolczak’s richly layered works combine age-old painting techniques with bold, contemporary mediums. Featuring countless brushstrokes and translucent layers of pigment combined with uncommonly used mediums such as neon, enamel and metal leaf, Karolczak’s work truly stands out in the genre of figurative art.”

9. Live Figure Drawing with Salem Arts Association and Drawn Together

Hosted by Sue Grillo and Beki Ferrari – two members of the Salem Arts Association who have founded and have been hosting Salem’s premier weekly Drink n’ Draw for over five years at the Gulu Gulu Cafe and more recently online.

Drawing from life has been an essential tool in the history of the arts. Figure models are an essential part of learning to draw the human figure.

Part of the Salem Arts Festival – this event is taking place on the Salem Maritime Park outside of the Salem Arts galleries, 159 Derby Street, Salem, MA

Sunday, June 5, 2-4pm

10. Faeries and Puppets

Two roving theatre troupes will be making their way to Salem Arts Festival on Sunday during festival weekend: Moonrise Fae and Miracle Fish Puppets.

About Salem Arts Festival

Art will heal us and help us recover from the challenges we have and continue to face. Arts and Culture are an integral part of day-to-day life in Salem and this annual festival has become a source of pride and revenue for hundreds of creative professionals and a major economic boost to the local community with over 6000 attendees annually. Through the COVID crisis the creative community has really stepped up to help us get through a lot of challenges and we want to find ways that we can support the creative community and contribute to the wellness of our City with the Festival as a platform and as an event.

Please follow us on social media @salemartsfestival
Tag us in your posts with #saf2022

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