Jim Salem is an internationally recognized painter of the natural world. The subjects of his paintings are largely concentrated on his native Pennsylvania and the Florida Keys, where he now resides. Born in rural western Pennsylvania in 1948, Jim studied painting at the Pennsylvania State University as well as the Slade School in London. He received his BA from Penn State in 1970. There was never any question that Jim would be a painter. While still in college Jim won the prestigious Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh and had his work purchased for the permanent collection of Pittsburgh Plate Glass. He had a long list of commissions while still at school, and after graduation began selling at arts festivals and galleries throughout the northeast. This wider exposure quickly led to new commissions, gallery shows, and recognition as a world class painter.
Jim has a distinguished body of work ranging from non-representational to realism. All of his paintings are clearly based on his love of nature. He very early gravitated to the land, plants and birds where he grew up. After he began to winter in Key West, he expanded his incredible sympathy with the natural world to include the unique ecology, flora and bird life of the Keys. Salem achieves his subtle jewel tones by using "color on color", and layering his acrylics. His painting has an amazing, luminous quality that adds atmosphere and depth to his work. "I paint to express the emotions evoked within me in an attempt to record the relationship of man to earth, sky to land, plant to bird." says Salem. He frequently paints on site and feels that much in his paintings should be a " record of nature", however he uses a mesmerizing combination of detail, realism and fantasy to evoke the emotions of that reality. John Dawes, the curator of Jimís "Pennsylvania, The Unspoiled Landscape", at the University Museum in Indiana, PA , commented , " As a landscape painter , Jim Salem has not finished surprising and casting his spell on us." The same remains true today. Salem has had over 40 one-man shows, 15 invitational group shows and 17 juried shows. He has had major museum shows in Pennsylvania at the Pennsylvania State Museum in Harrisburg , and most recently at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Mr. Salem is represented by galleries in Florida, Indiana, Alabama, and Pennsylvania, and is widely seen in both private and corporate collections worldwide including: Disney, Hilton Hotels, and PPG. Jim also supports the arts and young artists as a past member of the Board of The Key West Museum Of Art And History and The Anne McKee Artist Fund.
One Man Exhibitions
2013 Cocco & Salem Gallery, Key West, Florida