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Salem Art Fair 2018 Photos and commentary by an art Fair lover

The Salem Art Fair and Festival has been an enjoyable part of my summer life since I moved here in 1977. The Art Fair has had its ups and downs over the years, but it sure seems to be on an upswing now.

There were an appealing number of excellent artists I hadn't seen at the fair before. The food choices were better. The children's area was way-cool. Here's photographs of what caught my eye today, along with some commentary.

The main stage was humming with activity when I arrived in the early afternoon. My program informed me that the Children's Educational Theatre was performing.

A large number of blue shirts in the audience clued me in that this was a group experience.

I didn't watch enough of the show to figure out what it was about, but the outfits were definitely theatrical.

My empty stomach drew me to the north food court, where I was pleased to find some vegetarian fare: $10 for pan fried noodles and an egg roll. The dishes were tasty.

Clueless me had to be informed by a young person at the recycling bins that my fork was wooden, so could go in the compost. Nicely done, Art Fair, to move away from plastic utensils.

This piece of photographic art brought back memories of diners like these that were common in the 1960s, my high school and college years. (The reflection on the left isn't part of the art.)

There was so much great art to browse through. These images captivated me.

Dog art is one the genres my wife and I most deeply appreciate. Loved the title.

I was seriously tempted to take one of these pieces home with me. They were heavy, though.

What can I say, except... beautiful.

I've never been to an art fair in a more beautiful setting. The trees provide welcome shade, though I did talk with an artist who bemoaned the fact that her booth was in one of the few places that got direct sun.

There was something about this "abstract" art that felt entirely natural to me. The oceanic feel of it, I suppose.

This just seemed ever so fitting for what is turning out to be the Year of the Woman. Highly creative. Love the cracks.

Shadows on the grass were artistic renderings by the trees and sun.

I can completely understand nature worship. This marvelous tree seems to be compassionately sheltering the booths under its branches.

Colorful garden art, complete with shadows.

It looked like these hammocks are better suited for kids. But I could see myself in one. Seeing myself get out of one... that was more difficult to visualize.

I had a feeling that I was supposed to follow this path to... who knows?

Along the way I came across people enjoying tables in the shade.

But I was led onward, past the land of Kettle Corn.

StoryTime revealed itself, courtesy of the Salem Public Library. All hail, public libraries! Live long and prosper.

I happened upon a gigantic fish devouring a hapless boy. Or, less likely, it was a headless boy.

The fish had a name, Claudia. And a species, Chinook. Fisherpeople are known for exaggerating the size of the one that got away. But this one was captured, and put on a trailer for all to see.

This was the loneliest booth at the Art Fair. Are there no babies who need changing anymore? Or should we look for them in the bowels of a giant fish?

A bouncy castle beckoned children to enter. These did not exist in my ever-so-deprived childhood. I yearn for reincarnation to be real so this oversight by the cosmos can be remedied in another lifetime.

I don't recall seeing this so-cute Marionberry Cafe at previous visits to the Art Fair. I couldn't resist. The only question was what sort of marionberry treat to order.

The people in front of me got a sundae, with hazelnuts sprinkled on top. I was pleased to follow in their marionberry footsteps. Excellent choice!

Another purveyor of cool (and warm) drinks on a sunny day was popular. Chunky Monkey is a great name for a milkshake. Also, for a cocktail. Or a marijuana strain.

Heading north to hit the booths on the other side of the main Art Fair trail provided another view of the leafy canopy that graces Bush Park.

Human art below. Nature's artistry above.

Creative name for a jewelry artist.

Art imitating nature in a beautiful way.

This was a popular booth. People were fascinated by the clocks.

The clocks were indeed amazing. I could understand how the time was read on some of them. Others baffled me, which is part of their appeal. An instruction leaflet came with each clock, thankfully.

I only bought one piece of art, a coffee mug by Brendan Fuller. I told Brendan that I liked how imperfect the mug was. He didn't like the word "imperfect," so I changed to "appealingly asymmetric," or words to that effect.

I'm using the mug, and coffee in it, to fuel the composition of this Adobe Spark page. I like how the tiny white bumps create a subtle texture felt by my lips that is missing in smooth coffee cups.

The interior of the mug also appeals to me. It's sort of like looking into a white'ish black hole. Or so I imagine.

Created By
Brian Hines
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