Coming up this weekend, it's the 60th Anniversary of the Salem Art Association's Art Fair and Festival!
The first fair, called the "Art Mart", was held on the lawn of the Marion County Courthouse in August 1950. The event was the brainchild of David Duniway, past president of SAA, and it was described in the President's Report thusly:
"The artists congregated around the Court House grounds, brought their easels for work and had on display their own pictures to sell. The affair was most unique and highly successful and I doubt if a more foreign scene had ever been enacted in Salem. A small sum was netted from the sales."
Financial records indicate that this first Art Mart brought in $24. The event was relocated to the front lawn of the Bush House after SAA moved into the House in 1953.
By the early 1970s, the Festival had grown so large that it was moved to the portion of Bush's Pasture Park south of the Bush Barn Art Center, where it is still held today.
SAA is celebrating the Fair's history by inviting Art Fair aficionados to share your stories of this beloved community event. What's your favorite Art Fair memory? When you come to the Festival this weekend (July 17-19), look for a green flier and share your story with us. Stories will be read from the Main Stage every day, and fliers will be collected and saved for future historians.
For more information on the Art Fair & Festival, visit our website. See you this weekend!