December 15, 2021

Meet The Member: Salem Arcanum Studio Of Fine Art Photography

by Felicia Cheney

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Interviewee: Jim Bostick (he/him/his)

In your words… Tell us about your organization, business, initiative.

Salem Arcanum Studio is the fine art space for James Bostick Photography. James Bostick lives in Salem and has been a working photographer and designer for over 30 years. Currently working out of his rustic Gallows Hill warehouse studio, Bostick works to create his unique fine art photography including the Salem Arcanum Tarot, iconic infrared images of local landmarks, and other inspirations.

Tell us a bit about you and why you do what you do? Share your passions for your business, initiative, organization.

As a teen I discovered my artistic pursuits and eventually fell in love with photography leading to a BFA degree from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and a master’s degree from Penn State University with a focus on Art History, Semiotics and Communication Theory.

My photography interests combined with my background in art history has led to a focus on visual storytelling. My work sometimes feels like I’m making theater in my studio and capturing the scene as seen before my camera. I’ve directed my interest in semiotics, the study of language and symbol systems, on the pictorial language of the Tarot and embarked on a photographic journey to interpret this intertwined visual language system as a series of photographs called “The Salem Arcanum Tarot”.

I also love experimentation which has inspired my “Infra-Structure” series of infrared photographs celebrating history and landmarks I find to be special. Overall my creative process is built on many years of learning to see through the lens and storytelling through art.

What role do you think your business plays in supporting a more creative community? OR your community in general. (Bonus! Why do you think a more creative community is important?)

As an artist it’s a privilege to share my ideas through fine art but I can’t accomplish this without a community that prioritizes venues, galleries, public spaces filled with art, and the social gatherings that a creative community provides. Alone we struggle but as a collective we thrive.

Being part of our local creative community inspires me. I can’t create in a vacuum and I find the social and collective friendships a creative community provides fosters artistic growth.

What was the last book you read or film you watched that made an impact on you?

Just recently I discovered a monograph “Nature Morte: Photographs by Bruce Katsiff” in a used book shop online. It brought back memories of my freshman year in college. Bruce was my first photography teacher. I’ve always remembered him and his work but hadn’t thought about his impact on me in decades. Reading his book and seeing his amazing and dark photography inspired me in a new direction to attempt making still life photography. Who knows where this might lead.

What’s the one thing people would be surprised to learn about you our your business?

In the 80’s I worked as a fashion photographer. Then I went on to spend nearly a decade as the principal photographer and art director at Three Mile Island in Middletown Pennsylvania.



Creative Collective’s 2021 #StayLocal Campaign

Initiative encourages community to shop small and support local small businesses this November and December

It’s time for #StayLocal2021 – follow the hashtag for the best of local eats, drinks, experiences, and shopping North of Boston.

The approaching Holiday season is putting people in the shopping, eating, and drinking mood as small businesses across the North Shore are gearing up for the busiest time of the year. Following up the successful 2020 #StayLocal campaign, Creative Collective is launching #StayLocal2021, encouraging individuals to shop and support small this upcoming holiday season. Learn more.


Salem Arcanum Studio of Photography

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Salem Arcanum Photography Studio is the fine art space for James Bostick Photography. Bostick’s work includes the iconic “Salem Arcanum Tarot” project and other fine art work including infrared photography and other inspirations.