January 14, 2024

A City Of Care + Wonder: Discover Salem’s Vibrant Art Installation

by cns2020

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Immersive Art Installation by Claudia Paraschiv at Old Town Hall in Salem

SALEM, MA – Old Town Hall, located at 32 Derby Square, is about to be transformed into an enchanting world of art and community collaboration. From January 17th to 28th, 2024, the city proudly presents “A City of Care + Wonder,” an immersive exhibition by the talented public artist and architect Claudia Paraschiv.

Claudia’s exhibit is a vibrant testament to Salem’s spirit, encapsulating local handwritten stories and crafted using nature-friendly materials. The centerpiece? A large-scale, mobile tree sculpture aptly named the “Tree of Care + Wonder.” This piece is a culmination of summer and fall workshops, where Claudia and the community joined forces to express their unique perspectives on city life.

The exhibition isn’t just about visual splendor; it’s a narrative journey. It features a range of multimedia elements, including photographs from civic art events, a collage mapping Salem’s journey, and even policy recommendations for urban design, all derived from local stories.

Claudia shares her inspiration: “The Tree of Care + Wonder started as a dream, a sketch of a vibrant community flourishing around a tree in an urban setting. It’s about finding beauty and connection in unexpected places, like a flower blooming through concrete. This exhibit is my way of asking, ‘How can we build a city that’s both caring and wonderful?'”

This project is the fruit of many collaborations. With funding from the Salem Cultural Council, Essex Creative County Foundation‘s Creative County Initiative, and a partnership with the Peabody Essex Museum, Claudia brought together over 25 local artists, musicians, and other creatives. Key partnerships also included educator Toni Armstrong, Salem State University’s Michael Jaros, History Alive, and activist Michael Corely.

Claudia Paraschiv is more than an artist; she’s a visionary. Since moving to Salem in 201 and founding Studioful Design in 2016, she’s been actively blending architecture, community art, and urban design. As a MASSCreative Advocacy and Organizing Fellow in 2024, she’ll continue exploring how public spaces can enrich daily life.

The exhibition is a must-visit for anyone interested in art, community, and transforming public spaces. It’s open and free to the public from Wednesdays to Sundays, 10 am to 4 pm. Dive deeper into Claudia’s vision by attending the “Meet & Greet” sessions on Fridays to Sundays, from 12 pm to 2 pm.

And for those looking forward, Salem is set to announce the 2024 Public Artist in Residence soon. Keep an eye out for more updates!

About Artists’ Row

Nestled in historic downtown Salem at 24 New Derby St., Artists’ Row is a vibrant public plaza and the heart of the city’s art scene. Initially a marketplace, it now hosts artists, artisans, a restaurant, and public amenities. The Artists’ Row Initiative, run by the City of Salem’s Arts & Culture office, offers a unique space for artists to connect with the community. Discover more at the Artists’ Row official website.

About the City of Salem Arts & Culture Program

The City of Salem’s Arts & Culture Program champions innovative art in all forms, with a strong commitment to underrepresented voices. We aim to weave the arts into the fabric of urban life, fostering community pride and enhancing the city’s cultural richness. Learn more about our initiatives and the impact of art in Salem at the Arts & Culture Program website.

About the Salem Public Art Commission

The Salem Public Art Commission (PAC) elevates the city’s art scene by spotlighting local artists and bringing a global perspective to public art. We aim to make art an integral part of Salem’s identity, fostering a sense of belonging and enhancing the city’s environment. For upcoming art opportunities and to learn more, visit the Public Art Commission page.

Studioful Design is a member of the Creative Collective creative business empowerment program.