September 28, 2020

Awards Announced for Inspired by PEM and ArtOberfest – Photos

by joeyphoenix

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From Salem Arts Association

Take a virtual tour of the gallery

Inspired by PEM

The Salem Arts Association presents an exhibition by local artists inspired by the Peabody Essex Museum collections of art. Artists were welcome to draw inspiration from any of the work in the PEM’s outstanding special exhibits and permanent collection – virtual or in-person. Possible subjects include but are not limited to maritime art, fashion & design, Early American, Asian, Native American, African, Oceanic, architecture and historic homes.

Quotes below are from Inspired by PEM Guest Juror: Lydia Gordon

Best in Show: “Where the Questionnaires Go for Tea” by Jim Vaughey

The element of surprise when looking through the scope won me over. I was heartened by how this work drew clear inspiration from the PEM Exhibition “Where the Questions Live”.

Second Prize: “Maskr-Raid” by Jack Walsh

“The conversations this work is engaged with are timely and powerful, some of which were made possible because of PEMs Jacob Lawrence exhibition. I also enjoyed spending a lot of timing looking closely at the intricate surface.”

Third Prize: “Peach Bojag”i by Sandra Goldbert

“PEM has several Korean wrapping cloths in our collection. I loved the presentation of this object.

Honorable Mentions

“Black Lives Matter” by Patricia Dunbar

“The accordion presentation of the mixed media work was interesting but I felt a deeper connection to the conversations the work is having. That quote from Washington titled a Jacob Lawrence struggle series panel.”

“Light and Shadow” by Elizabeth Hall

“This photograph is a wonderful and calm snapshot of stillness and beautifully executed with balance in the light.”

“Millfleur” by Sandra Goldbert

“The embroidery in this work is intricate and delightful. I’m working on a project now that emphasizes the labor of ornamentation and embellishment.”


The Salem Arts Association invited local artists to explore Salem’s history with witchcraft, religion, and Halloween. The resulting exhibit represents their diverse interpretations of the theme and how, by bringing them together, we create a collective understanding of it.

Take a virtual tour of ArtOberfest

Quotes below are from ArtOberfest Guest Juror: Laura Tempest Zakroff

Best of Show: “Statuary No. 3” by Patricia Scialo

“This is a wonderfully subtle yet highly evocative piece, conjuring so many shapes in its layers and shadows in its mixed media presentation. To me, it epitomizes the complicated history and the emotional allure of the city. We get a sense of stone, of graveyards, of memory, of decay and nature reclaiming what is hers, of grasping on to tradition while grappling with the future. This piece is like a scrying mirror, revealing more as you gaze upon it.”

Second Prize: “Sacred Tools VII” by Heather Meri Stewart

To me, this is the spirit of modern Salem, symbolic of the rising generation of witches, magical practitioners and current denizens – not just in the October season, but all year round. Salem in October is a sight to behold, but you don’t get a full picture of this city without experiencing all of her seasons, especially when most of the tourists have gone home. 

Once all of the special effects and spooky trappings get removed, there is still beauty to be found. 

Bones remind us of where we have come from while blossoms speak of the promise of the future – the warmth and balance of this painting evokes these sensations perfectly. 

Third Prize: “Ugly Jack” by Katherine Miura

“This little grouping of paintings is quintessential Salem in October.  It’s fun, playful, colorful, spooky, and a bit willfully irreverent. It’s a brilliant Fall weekend where a almost too-warm sunny day suddenly gives way a crisp cool evening – you can hear the throngs of costumed people in the streets, see the lighted ghost tours edging past you, and catch the aroma of the mingling smells of treats and fireplace smoke in the air. You know exactly which house this jack-o-lantern resides.

Honorable Mentions:

“Scary Tomatoes” by Peggy MacNeill

“Ode to Gorey” by Jane Saunders

“Possession: Inez terrorizes the topiary” by Steve Negron

“Witch Power” by Victoria Moreno-Jackson

“Covid Mary” by Beki Ferrari

Support Accessibility on the North Shore

Creative North Shore is having ongoing discussion of Accessibility and Disability Awareness leading up to the International Day of Disabled Persons on December 3 and the hopeful introduction of a Disability Parade in 2021. If this is a topic you are interested, have thoughtful story ideas, or know of an organization to add to the list below please reach out to

Organizations to Support