Many works of fine art are on display in City of Salem public buildings or outdoors in the
downtown Salem area. These include pieces from the City of Salem public art collection, which is managed by the
Salem Public Art Commission, as well as pieces owned by other parties, such as the Salem Public Library Foundation.
Artworks in the City of Salem collection were created using a wide variety of media, and together they span more than 50 years of regional art history. From Constance Fowler’s
Gardiner, Oregon (The Village), painted in 1938, to James Hansen’s recently restored
Crescent Probe, the art collection showcases a variety of materials, styles, and periods of art-making in Oregon.
The majority of works in the City of Salem’s public art collection date back to the original Mayor’s Art Invitational at the 1972 Civic Center opening and the 1976 Mayor’s Art Invitational exhibitions. Additional works have been donated individually at various times. More recently, several pieces have been acquired through the City of Salem’s
half-a-percent for public art program, which applies to eligible City-funded capital construction projects.
For more information, see
Salem Revised Code Chapter 15.
Salem Public Art Commission is charged with overseeing the City’s public art collection, including acquisition, maintenance, cataloging, and deaccessioning art within the collection. To that aim, the commission acquires art—through donation or purchase—of exceptional quality and enduring value, with a preference for Oregon artists whenever possible. Contact us if you would like to donate art for the City’s collection.
From your smart phone or your desk, you can
take a self-guided tour of the public art on display throughout the Civic Center, on public lawns and plazas, in the corridors and meeting rooms of the Salem Public Library and the City Council Chambers, and in downtown Salem. As you navigate the map, you’ll find information about each piece and the artist who created it.
Explore the list below or check the label next to art on display to learn more about each piece.
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