In 1919, Sally Bush and her sister-in-law Lulu Hughes Bush, along with Elizabeth Lord, Edith Schryver, and other creative folks, developed the Salem Arts League to promote enjoyment of various forms of art in Salem. They met on a regular basis to share their talents and interests, and hosted exhibits and seminars in various locations around town.
In 1938, following the Great Depression, the group became part of the Works Progress Administration network, a federal program to help unemployed artists spread the arts to communities across the nation, and changed their name to Salem Art Center Association. At this time, the organization was housed in the basement of the Salem High School. During 1942, they moved to a property in Pringle Park. In 1948, Bush House housed this organization, now known as the Salem Art Association (SAA). However, the construction of the new Capitol Mall required demolition of the home of A.N. Bush, now 90+ years old, necessitating his relocation back to his childhood home, thereby ousting the arts organization once again.
The photo above is of gallery director Dave Wilson leading a group of 4th Grade students in an Arts & History Immersion program visit. The photo to the right shows two young visitors enjoying the annual Young Artists' Showcase in 2019.