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Careers in Creativity: a panel on thriving as a visual artist at Salem State

  • Salem State University, Gassett Fitness Center Room 225 352 Lafayette Street Salem, MA, 01970 United States (map)

Salem State University's Art + Design department and Career Services have teamed up to present something new this year. If you've ever wondered what it takes to be a working artist, this event is for you! A panel of three working artist will discuss the highs and lows of pursuing a career in visual art.

Questions we will consider include:

// How do you define working artist?
// How do you sell your work?
// Where do you find opportunities?
// How did you overcome the fear of failure or rejection?
// How do you get started in a creative career?


Artist and curator Kate True has been painting portraits in oil and ink for more than 20 years. Her work has taken her across the country, capturing captivating and sensitive likenesses in her drawings from life and oil portraits. Her drawings, prints, and paintings have been featured in galleries around the US and in more than 1000 private collections worldwide. True, a MA Cultural Council grant recipient for the exhibit Little Women, has curated multiple exhibitions in the Boston area. In 2017 she was the principal organizer of Nasty Women Boston , a resistance art show and fundraiser, which brought over 1000 visitors in 10 days to the Laconia Gallery and raised more than $20,000 for social justice and women’s health. Kate lives and works in Boston, MA with her three daughters.


Meg Black has been a practicing artist working with natural fibers for over thirty years. As one of a handful of artists working in this exploratory medium, she has become something of a pioneer, internationally recognized by galleries and collectors alike. Her focus on nature’s palette, compositions and energy yields stunning landscapes, seascapes, and garden views. Her paintings are acclaimed for their textured surface and colorful luminosity.

Meg received a PhD. in Education from Lesley University, an MFA in Studio Art from the Massachusetts College of Art, and a BFA from the State University of New York, Oswego. She has extensive teaching experience including a term as a visiting instructor at the Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy. Currently, she is the Coordinator of Art Education at Salem State University.

Meg’s work has been included in multiple group and solo exhibitions and has been acquisitioned into private, corporate, healthcare and public collections, including the State of New Hampshire 1% for Art Program. She recently completed a large-scale commission for the town of Topsfield Town Hall expansion project.

As a widely acclaimed artist, Meg has been asked to contribute to several art publications including The Arts, Aesthetics, and Education, Salem State University Sextant and Hand Papermaking Magazine. She has appeared on New England Chronicle and Home and Garden TV.


Black Ant • Photographic is the working studio of photographer Jeff Caplan.

Jeff has been creating compelling images with his camera for over 30 years. Born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, his early work was often against the backdrop of the historic Mill City.

In the early 90’s Jeff further developed his photographic skill set by delving in to advanced black & white printing techniques and alternative processes through the fine art photography program at The Art Institute of Boston.

Eternally inspired by Lowell’s native son Jack Kerouac, Jeff set out on numerous cross country road trips trying to capture a visual record of books like The Dharma Bums, The Subterraneans and of course On the Road.

Even though the time period was the mid 1990’s the images appear to be snapped from an earlier day. The subject matter of that work ranged from kitsch, americana, roadside oddities and various studies of the unlimited offerings of beauty that can be seen when traveling across the United States.

Once a resident of Los Angeles, CA as well as Portland, ME, Jeff has returned to the Merrimack river and the brick and mortar of Lowell, Massachusetts. He brings with him a diverse collection of experiences and images from the west and east coasts, as well as a renewed passion for the landscape of his youth.
Jeff lives and works in a digital world, but is a traditionalist at heart. Still shooting and developing film. He stays involved with a local darkroom collective at Western Avenue Studios where he also resides.

His work has been seen at: The Boot Mill Museum, Lowell, MA 2018-2019 Lowell’s Urbanscape: A Legacy of Newcomers, The Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA 2018 24th Annual Juried Members' Exhibition, Uncharted Gallery, Lowell, MA 2018 The Town and the City, Noisey/ 2017, LTC, Lowell, MA 2017 Vast, Mad, Striving, The Lowell Cemetery, Lowell MA 2017, 2018, Uncharted Gallery, Lowell, MA 2015, The Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios, Lowell, MA 2014, The Brush Gallery, Lowell, MA 2013 and Merrimack College, North Andover MA, 2001.

Later Event: February 28
Sheila Pepe at the deCordova