By Ryan Somerville

When Peter Degroot’s band, Vortex Remover, didn’t make the cut for the main stage at the 2017 Salem Art Fair, he didn’t take the refusal lying down. He turned that rejection into the Rejected Art Faire, a venue for Salem artists who need a chance to be seen. The Space Concert Club in West Salem will host the event for the second year this Saturday beginning at 5pm. The art show will feature 23 local artists and music from eight bands.

Degroot organized the event with local musician Julie Eaton. “This is Peter’s brainchild,” Eaton said, who will be curating the art for the show. The 2017 premiere go-around was a success for the artists, who saw their work sell, Eaton said. “We were super pleased.” Saturday’s version will boast about ten more artists. “This year has been exciting, because the artists came to me,” she said.  She likes the show’s philosophy in which no one is rejected – she will let the patrons decide. Eaton has a wide perspective about what is art, and she sees this as an alternative to the tame and predictable Salem Art Fair. “I love giving a stage or audience to people who are marginalized,” she said. And that “e” in Faire? That’s totally Eaton.

While there is a hint of mockery with the event, this is a legit art show, she said. “You can take that tongue and cheek, but it’s an art fair,” she said, with perhaps a bit of a punk rock flair. (Or is that “flaire?”) History is full of rejected artists who were ahead of their time, she said. (Toulouse-Lautrec was once described as “an immoral talent of pernicious … influence.” Ouch!)

As for the artists at this show? “I would say some have been rejected,” Eaton said. But attendees should expect to see quality art and have a good time. There are always new ways of doing things, she said. “By god, if you can’t do that with art, where can you?”

If the vibe from last year is any indication, Eaton expects a less esoteric or aloof crowd to attend. However, patrons should expect the art to challenge, be less “consumable,” and be something they have never seen before with no overlap with the Salem Art Fair. The cost is friendly – patrons can expect to find items as low as $3 for a bar of artisan soap, to some pieces that hit the $300 mark. But most items fall in the $25 to $100 range. All that cash goes into the hands of local Salem artists.

The acrylic paintings of Mae Starr will be on display, which Eaton characterizes as “visceral and emotional.” Artist Chandra Timm’s mixed media, watercolor, and oil pieces focusing on the human form will be on display. “She is very dynamic and has a lot of different styles,” Eaton said. The fair “gives her an opportunity to be seen and sold.”

The show begins at 5pm, Saturday, July 28 at The Space concert Club, 1128 Edgewater St NW, Salem, 97304. Children welcome until 9:55 pm. Twenty-one and over after 10pm. The fair will accept cash and credit. Admission is $5. Twenty-three artists and 8 bands will keep the event interesting.

The Visual Artists:

Alissa June Fenderson – Acrylic, Mixed Media
Autumn Steam – Ceramics, Mixed Media
Berik Bassline – Multi-Media
Daisy Santana Hickman – Textiles
DeBorah Beatty – Acrylic, Mixed Media
Eilish Gormley – Mixed Media
Emma Douglas –    Watercolor
Gordon Chan – Mixed Media
Jessica Murdoch – Pop-Up Poetry
Jewelia Owens – Textiles, Mixed Media
Joel Machiela – Mixed Media on Wood
Julie Eaton – Handcrafted Soaps
Katelyn Stewart – Linocuts
Kelly Taylor –    Mixed Media
Gina Sadorra – Multi-Medi
Krystal Wirth – Oil on Canvas
Mae Starr – Mixed Media & Photography
Malteus Crelbin – Digital Art
Paul Marche – Acrylic on Masonite
Ricky Cleave – Photography
Shauna Groves –    Mixed Media on Paper
Stacie Clark – Watercolor & Mixed Media
Trenten Barker Photography – Photography


Music will be provided by:

Honk Heads
The King Dot
B-Roll featuring Jared Richert,
Vortex Remover
Hank Porche – Diabolical Ragtime Piano Wizard
Lung (Cincinnati)
MARC & the Horsejerks

Ryan Somerville is a journalism teacher at McNary High School. He is also the lead singer and guitarist for local dad punk band, Wire Monkey Mama.