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We are also available on Facebook by searching for "Artists In Action Salem". And visit our website at


Artists in Action began in the Fall of 1999 when it was loosely known as “Valley Artists Network." It was established to get Salem artists involved with each other and with the community and to promote and support creative endeavors. This new Artists’ network was created by Wayne and Twyla Knowles, Diane Trevett, Eric Wuest, Robin Humelbaugh, Leila Whitlock Hauth and others to be an autonomous art group run by artists for artists. With the Knowleses as the driving force the core group of artists began meeting regularly. By early 2000 Wayne and Twyla were less involved, and when it seemed like the group wasn't getting off the ground, four other artists began organizing meetings. Those four were Shirley Cross, Kris Lockard, Sue Thompson and Diane Trevett. The group evolved and others joined. Those remaining wanted to emulate getting into action, hence the name "Artists In Action" (AiA).

On September 4, 2001, AiA adopted an existing nonprofit corporate charter from an art group based in Stayton, Oregon, called North Santiam Arts League (NSAL), which was originally incorporated as a nonprofit on May 7, 1981. Robin Humelbaugh was on the board of that group. The newly formed AiA group met with the NSLA board to assume their nonprofit 501(c)3 status and applied for a name change in the group, a change in officers, and reinstated the Articles of Incorporation under the name “Artists in Action.” As a non-profit, AiA has been a very strong, active and organized group complete with a Board of Directors.

Since then, significant growth in membership has occurred with membership increasing from about 25 to 60 artists in 2003-04, to 100 in 2005. With the recent added participation of all types of visual artists, AiA has steadily expanded to more than 150 members and continues growing strong. Despite the fact that AiA has no paid staff and that all the work has been performed by volunteers, AiA has managed and presented events such as Paint The Town, Art On The Green and the Something Red ArtWalk and Exhibit. AiA also has joined in other events as a group, such as the Oregon Wine and Food Festival, Keizer Iris Festival, Deepwood Estates Celebrates the Gardens, Salem World Beat Festival, Havenhill Lavender Festivals in Silverton area, the Oregon State Fair and the Salem Art Fair & Festival.

Past and current Presidents of AiA include: Diane Trevett (2000), Leila Whitlock Hauth (2001), the late Donna Jarvis (2002-2003), Marilyn Krug (2003-2004), Patricia Young (2005), Bruce Fontaine (2006-2008), Phil Krug (2010-2011), Becki Hesedahl (2013-2014), Joel Zak (2015), Becki Hesedahl (2016) and Cherry Beeken (2017).

History of the Salem Studio Tour
The Salem area studio tour (encompassing Keizer, Silverton, Stayton, Monmouth, Independence, Rickreall and Dallas areas) began around 1996 through the Salem Art Association’s Artist Resources Committee. In 1998 it was operated autonomously by an informal group of artists. The Tour was first known as the Art Safari Studio Tour, and later changed to the Salem Area Studio Tour. After six years of chairing this annual event, chairperson Diane Trevett handed the reins over to Artists in Action. The Board of AiA consented, and in June 2003 AiA began vigorously planning the event to be held in the fall of 2003. While planning and sponsorship was well underway, within two months SAA (under new leadership) approached AiA and petitioned to take over the event and bring it under the wings of SAA. Because SAA had the staff and other resources with which to run the event, AiA agreed. SAA then took over planning and held the studio tour in October 2004. Afterward, SAA decided to suspend operations of the event. In 2007, AiA Member Kathy Lull resurrected the Studio Tour event and it became known as “VAST,” for “Visual Artists Studio Tour.” VAST was operated autonomously but in cooperation with AiA as supporter and sponsor, and continues as an annual event. In 2014 it was renamed the Willamette Valley Open Studios (WVOS), and continues as a semi-annual event.

History of “Something Red” and Gallery 205
During 2002-2003, Robin Humelbaugh arranged for artists to rotate their works exhibited in the then-vacant Metropolitan storefront in downtown Salem. The theme of artwork featuring “red” was used during the December holiday season. After a couple of years AiA sought out alternate downtown venues in which to display its artists’ members' work. A group of AiA members (Diane Trevett, Marilyn Krug, Kathy Fox, Melody Fahey and other core members) began meeting regularly in August 2003 to explore possibilities. Discussions evolved into asking downtown businesses if they would sponsor art exhibits with a “Something Red” theme during the month of December. Downtown businesses and building owners embraced the concept, and the event took off with 14-18 businesses annually participating starting with the first event held in December 2004. Marilyn Krug and Diane Trevett co-chaired the first three years, then handed it off to be chaired by Brigitte Cobb, Lorraine Dye and many other volunteers, including both artists and art supporters. Businessman Roger Yost (art patron and owner of several downtown buildings) contributed staging and reception areas in the Reed Opera House. His significant support of this event from the beginning has helped to make this and many other art events possible. During most of 2006 he also generously contributed space (“Gallery 205” in the Reed Opera House) for AiA to use for several exhibits, receptions and sales. "Something Red" continues each December.

History of “Outside the Box”
AiA had its first booth at the Salem Art Fair & Festival in July 2004. It offered information about AiA and promoted its mission of sharing art and networking with the community at large. AiA members create and donate art works in a mindset of thinking “outside the box” which are offered to festival patrons as a silent auction fundraiser for AiA operating expenses and to support events such as "Something Red." This also presented another venue for local member artists to exhibit their skills and talent, creating art beyond the conventional methods. "Outside the Box" has included fantastic assemblages, vessels, ceramic items, carved wooden items, chests, quirky painted and decorated boxes, shoes, fiber arts and more. The event has become a successful annually celebrated “don’t miss” event at the Salem Art Fair & Festival.

History of “Paint the Town!”
This event was conceived and first held in 1999 to promote artists residing in and near Salem and to increase the public’s awareness of the process of creating art in a public setting. Spearheaded by Wayne Knowles, AiA holds this annual event at a number of venues where artists gather with sketch pads and “plein air” easels so the public can observe and be inspired. This annual event offers painters the opportunity to come out of their studios and gives the public opportunities to observe, ask questions and enjoy various scenic sites throughout summer. A juried exhibit is held at Salem’s Elsinore Gallery in the fall. Artists may complete their work on-site that day, but most are completed later in the artists’ studios from sketches developed on-site. Historic and contemporary downtown locations are chosen during Salem’s first Wednesday. Other sites are chosen for their historic garden settings and/or panoramic views such as Deepwood Estates, Havenhill Lavender Farm, Daffodil Hill, the Capitol grounds, Minto Brown Island, Salem Riverfront, the Brunk House on West Highway 22, Baskett-Slough Wildlife Preserve, Stayton Covered Bridge and other scenic venues. The event has become a well-publicized annual event for artists to network with each other and the public.

AiA Today
AiA has been an active and vibrant network in the Salem area, participating in a number of events, sharing art with the community and providing local artists with the opportunity to exhibit their works, such as First Wednesdays in downtown Salem (demonstrations and displays), covered bridge festivals, various restaurants, libraries and other public buildings, private corporate buildings such as Spinnaker Place (under the direction of Melody Fahey), CCTV (under the direction of Paul Szudzik), and other local festivals and events too numerous to mention. We meet on 3rd Tuesdays of each month (unless exceptions are needed) January thru November at Broadway Commons in the Mexico Room from 6:00 to 8:30pm with the first half hour designed for casually connecting with artists. In August there is a potluck picnic at another location.

For more information you can contact Diane Trevett at 503-559-5210 or Cherry Beeken at

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