Salem Art Works was founded in 2005 and has grown to have a wonderfully diverse set of art installations, cultural events, and artistic workspaces. Art installations are scattered throughout the 119-acre grounds.
Some of the best are located on the Cary Hill Sculpture Park, which can be accessed via Salem Art Works’ four miles of nature trails or by car. Cary Hill Sculpture Park is also the summer venue for the “Music on the Hill” concerts hosted by SAW. These concerts are held two or three times a year during the summer months and are free to attend.
Back down the hill on the main campus of Salem Art Works, the original farm buildings have been repurposed into exhibition areas and workshops for ceramics, glass blowing, blacksmithing, welding, casting, woodworking, and digital arts. During clement weather many of these locations are open and the artists can be seen learning skills or realizing their visions. Salem Art Works was inspired in part by North Carolina’s Black Mountain College, an experimental art school founded during the Great Depression.
Because many of the artistic mediums at SAW are fire-centric, each year they hold a Festival of Fire. The three-day event in early-mid September showcases ceramics, blacksmithing, glasswork, welding, and casting. Just like the rest of SAW events and grounds, the public is welcome to walk around and watch art being created during the event.
Know Before You Go
The venue is free to walk around and explore. Guided tours are also available (for a fee) at the main office.