The mission of the Salem Art Association (SAA) is to actively engage the community in the appreciation of the arts through contemporary art exhibitions and events, arts education for youth and adults, and the preservation and interpretation of our shared cultural heritage.
The Salem Art Association envisions a vibrant and connected community that harnesses the power of the arts and heritage to expand creativity and improve lives.
Welcome to SAA
Founded in 1919 in Salem, Oregon, the Salem Art Association is a 501c3 non-profit arts organization serving the mid-Willamette Valley and is one of the largest community arts organizations in Oregon. SAA achieves its mission through the educational programming below.
SAA’s Community Arts Education program (CAE) provides arts programming built in collaboration with community partners to support a broad range of arts activities in the community and seeks to provide dynamic art projects that address specific needs in Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties. CAE engages more than 7,000 students, administrators, teachers and parents each year through the School Arts program which includes Artists in the Schools (AIS), Family Arts Nights, Museum Residencies and the High School Art Mentorship Program. CAE also provides regional artists with professional development opportunities through our Artists Services program which includes Project Space and the Artist-in-Residence program.
SAA’s Galleries Program in the Bush Barn Art Center, located in historic Bush’s Pasture Park, operates three galleries and a gift gallery exhibiting and interpreting works of 20th and 21st century fine art and crafts by artists living or working in the Pacific Northwest and beyond who, through their creative modes of expression, enrich our community and foster a deeper understanding of the value of visual art.
SAA also operates the historic Bush House Museum, located adjacent to the Bush Barn Art Center. The Museum offers tours to the public and preserves and interprets the heritage of the Bush House and Bush’s Pasture Park to illuminate Oregon history and culture associated with the lives and legacy of Salem’s Bush Family.
In addition to these educational programs, SAA is also the proud organization behind the Salem Art Fair & Festival, the largest art festival in Oregon committed to upholding the importance of fine arts and crafts by providing access to a range of artistic mediums appealing to both art appreciators and art collectors alike. With a variety of different family activities and offerings, the art fair features the work of over 200 artists as well as live music, local craft beer, wine and cuisine and also serves as SAA’s largest fundraising event. SAA’s programs would not be operational without the support from the art fair and our other fundraising and community-building events including the Clay Ball, a formal auction and banquet including local and regional art and experience packages; and the Holiday Showcase & Gala, celebrating the opportunity to experience and purchase original, hand-crafted holiday gifts and preview SAA’s upcoming art exhibitions.