Story and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson
The restoration of an old barn into an impressive new gallery and performance space was cause for celebration at Salem Arts Works’ recent barn bash. SAW founder Anthony Cafritz – whose vision has turned the formerly fallow dairy farm in Salem, New York, into a 119-acre sculpture park, gallery, artist residence and teaching space – was on hand to lead tours to the top of Cary Hill Sculpture Park, where a stunning vista looks out past several massive orange Mark di Suvero pieces to the Green Mountains of neighboring Vermont. SAW is currently at work repurposing over four miles of former logging trails into public hiking and biking trails (with an artistic view).
Along with glass blowing demonstrations and the screen printing of on-demand t-shirts, the day kicked off with an aluminum pour. In a bit of sculpture-making meets performance art, Music from Salem cellist Stephen Marotto provided the soundtrack to the firing and melting of the hot molten aluminum, which was poured over string instruments lying in molds in the ground. After a barbecue dinner, Buzz Saw Boys and Wonder Beards kicked up dust with foot-stomping sets in the new barn.
SAW has a whole slate of summer workshops and events ahead: visit salemartworks.org to find out what’s happening.