May 212016

Artists' RowWhat is so unique & challenging about the small stretch of land known as Artists’ Row at 24 New Derby St. is that each of the four creative storefront owners design, make and sell their wares right there. Even before your eyes. That is what makes Artists’ Row so special. And it is now open.

Originally built as a market place, this pedestrian walkway is intersected by Front St. on one side and New Derby St. on the other. It is across from Town Hall.

The Public Art Commission, working with Deborah Greel, the Public Art Planner, have this year invited the following “Creative Entrepreneurs” to create handcrafted items including pottery, fabric arts, glass art, and wood turned products in their retail/maker spaces.

  • Boston Woodturning creates one-of-a-kind handcrafted fine art, as well as usable utilitarian pieces, from a variety of local wood. Discover demonstrations in Woodturning and various workshops throughout the season in the working studio. Learn and observe the process of Woodturning or book a lesson. In the gallery space find practical and sculptural works of art created from wood.
  • Ceramics by Sibel is the working pottery studio & gallery of Sibel Alpaslan. Sibel is a Turkish ceramic artist who loves the organic feeling of clay, knowing that it comes from the earth. Lately, she has been focusing on creating amphora, vases, and covered dishes that are inspired by ancient forms, and then combining them with modern whimsical surprises. Sibel will also host pottery wheel demonstrations and workshops.
  • Grace and Diggs founder Linda Joy Mullen, while an architect, has always loved to sew, knit, draw, and glue things together.  Architecture has been a study in building big things, while Grace and Diggs became an outlet to make little things. From paper-bag hats and burlap wreaths, to aprons and throw-pillows, Grace and Diggs’ workshops and pre-made works invite the public to experiment in design of small things.
  • Kay’s Stained Glass Studio is the locally owned and operated glass studio of Kay and Aleksandra Nowak with a mission to create high quality original glass products. With years of experience in stained glass industry, Kay’s Stained Glass Studio offers unique designs and quality craftsmanship with great attention to details. Their work can be seen in various locations throughout Europe as well as the United States. They also provide many services for their customers including consultation, design, restoration, renovation, repair, and fabrication.

As an added extra, joining Sibel in her stall is Karen Scalia of Salem Food Tours. With a passion for fresh local foods and cooking, and a background in event planning as well as the performing arts Karen knew that sharing Salem’s past with a ‘taste’ of the culinary present was the perfect way to understand and appreciate this much-loved city. Take a tour with Karen and learn more about the local food scene in Salem!

This year the creative entrepreneurs are also participating in “Watch Art Grow on the Row” bringing an educational component to Artists’ Row. The artisans will host classes in ceramics, woodturning, hat and wreath making, demonstrations and fine art classes for adults and children. Please contact the individual artisans for their class, workshop and demonstration schedules.

Artists’ Row is a seasonal program (end of May to beginning of November) that provides space for artisans interested in building their audience through daily engagement with residents and visitors to Salem. Artists’ Row is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, noon – 6pm and Thursdays, 11am – 7pm.

Jan 092016

Art is where you find it and in Salem Ma from May 19 – Nov. 1, 2016 you will find it on a special strip of land called Artists’ Row (24 New Derby Street). It is special because anyone with artistic skill and zeal can apply for the four available units.

Witch CityIn late 2015 we put a spotlight on several of the creative people at work in Salem’s very own artistic incubator Artists’ Row. The City of Salem is now taking new season applications for tenants with a public site visit and informational meeting set for Saturday, January 9, at 11am (or by appointment). Those interested in participating in the program should arrive at Artists’ Row at that time and date.

Artists’ Row is a seasonal program that provides space for artisans interested in building their audience through daily engagement with residents and visitors to Salem.

The variety of activities considered for Artists’ Row spaces are to include all types of uniquely produced or crafted products that have appeal to a wide audience. Possible categories are handcrafted products, artwork and artisanal food products.

Diane HofThe City is particularly interested in activities that will contribute to a “lively activated passage that serves as an entryway to one of the central public spaces in downtown Salem.”

  • All work MUST be created by the individuals participating in the program and must be original handcrafted works or products. Mass produced or manufactured works are not acceptable (sales representatives and agents are not eligible).
  • All prices for artwork or handcrafted products MUST be visible to the public. Participants are responsible for collecting sales tax.
  • Selected participants are responsible for transporting all products, support material and equipment to and from the site, and for all installation, display and sales.

For full details on selection criteria, submission requirements, program requirements, license agreements, community engagement/programming, signage, marketing, etc. go to (or as noted above, be there on Saturday at 11am).

Nikky 1aBoston birdhouseDeadline for submission is by (or before) 12pm February 12, 2016. Applications may be mailed or hand-delivered to the Department of Planning & Community Development, Attn: Deborah Greel, City Hall Annex, 120 Washington Street, Salem, MA 01970. The application form must be completed in its entirety and is available at

Does your art speak to you? Do you wish it to speak to others? Consider expressing yourself at Artists’ Row.

Oct 182015

Jewelry, like clothing, can be a way to distinguish yourself from others or to identify with others, but the owner, designer, maker, craftsperson, salesperson and marketing director of Nikky Bergman Jewelry at Artists’ Row in Salem MA feels “it can be an even more precious and personal thing.”

Nikky 1aNikky Bergman explains, “I am able to work one on one with clients to design and hand-make a piece of jewelry that they can’t find anywhere else! Because I am the one making every piece, I am able to truly customize designs. I also come at the jewelry discipline from an artist’s perspective, so the jewelry I make is far less traditional. This is a really relaxed environment, which is great if you have never had anything custom made before. You will not find any high pressure sales here.”

Bergman started as a metalsmith in 2001 using the techniques learned in art school (BFA in 2004 from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design and MFA in 2008 from SUNY New Paltz) to make fine-art-one-of-a-kind semi-wearable pieces.

She adds, “I loved — and still do — the art form because of its specific relationship to the body and the associations that come with wearing something. It is so rich! Now, talk about wedding & engagement rings and you add so much more meaning!”

Nikky ring“It is so rewarding for me to work with clients who are getting married— this is a special time in their lives. It is really neat to be part of their wedding process and make such a meaningful and lasting part of it!”

She is also excited to be included in the incubation process at Artists’ Row.

Bergman says “Artists’ Row gave me the opportunity to pursue my business full-time. I have been in business since 2011, but this is the first year I am able to devote completely to it and it has been so much fun and so rewarding!”

She continues, “It is the perfect combination of a retail venue and studio workspace for me. It is so lovely to be able to showcase what I make and show people how it’s made in the same space. It uses my time wisely, too. I can help a customer one minute and work on a new piece of jewelry the next! I think everyone on Artists’ Row is using the space as a small business, creative incubator. I know I am! I don’t know of another place like this and am so grateful to be a part of it!”

She shares her building space with candlemaker Liz Frasier the proprietress of Witch City Wicks and Bridget Alexander of The Pack Paper Company.

“Our customers benefit in that they get the latest and greatest from all of us,” Bergman explains. “I know when Liz introduces a new fragrance or I make a new design, we show it in our shop first! And we are here everyday to meet our customers, get input from them, answer questions, give them insights into how something is made.”

In fact, on Thursdays during the farmers market, she offered free fun kids activities, occasional workshops and hosted a series of visiting jewelers.

“It’s so wonderful to meet the person who made what you are buying! You realize you are truly supporting someone!”

Nikky Bergman Jewelry at Artists’ Row is located at 24 New Derby Street, Salem. For info go to or call 401-524-2412.

Aug 092015

“The creative process is something where you sometimes limit yourself— but other times you let it grow. You have to let it do things that seem a little uncomfortable to find something new.”

Words and thought process from Diane Hoffman, owner of Diane Hoffman Textile Shop on Artists’ Row.

But make no mistake about it, she is in control of that entire creative process. Design, printing, and sewing.

Diane Hoffman Textiles is a one-woman textile business. All products are hand printed and made by hand with locally sourced and recycled material. Silkscreen and stamp printed woven (cotton and recycled feedbags) materials are sewn into tote bags, clutches and chic duffels. — many with interior designs! It’s that extra step which makes her work special and not easily comparable to items at department stores.

“If you want your cat on a bag, I can do it for you,” Diane explains. “I can turn orders around quickly because I am not ordering from far away places.”

She’s been here for three months focusing on hand printed textiles and knits, featuring rescued pets and farm animals from New England.

Diane HofShe tries to bring past and present together. She shows us a toile, (Toile de jouy is a fabric originated in France in the 1760s. The original patterns usually depicted pastoral scenes). It has a donkey within the pattern but she added a larger version donkey to bring it to the forefront as part of her creative process to find something new.

“The more things I can add, the more connections I can make between the ideal world and the real world, will help keep up the idea of rescue animals and farm animal that are in need of a lot of upkeep to raise. We need to bring this to the public’s attention so as to not let animals become something we humans use but not respect.”

Her current project on t-shirts and bags is doing road dogs and cats. If nothing else, Salem has plenty of cats, and you can’t go a day without crossing paths with several people walking their dogs.

Diane Hof -1“I am doing one right now of Slinky. He is a little dog that wears a pirate’s hat.”

Also in keeping with her thoughts about doing “things that seem a little uncomfortable to find something new,” she holds community print demo sessions on Thurs 4-6pm.

“We try to get people to come & do artwork. And I think the work they do is quite good.” But the materials are the interesting element. An upcoming session will use not paint but powdered graphite (which has an oily feel) and stencils.

Her unit is #24 New Derby Street. Asked why did she want to open shop on Artists’ Row, Diane responds…

“I love this community. Very lively. Greats arts community. Salem is very aware of its past, but also very progressive. And the Farmers’ Market is here. All these parts. The idea is that you get inspiration from other artists, there is so much energy here on Artists’ Row.”

A good portion of it provided by Diane.

Silk screens to put ink on canvas, fabrics with a vintage feel, bold images on material like the type used for hats of old-time train engineers. These and more are what you’ll find at Diane Hoffman Textiles, open daily 11am-6pm (except Monday) and open until 7pm on Thursday. For more info, go to her website.