The Salon: fostering a creative ecosystem

“Tonight is a celebration of creativity–the powerful and positive force we all share.  We’re here to unite Boston artists and all of us who appreciate the impact of the arts in a vital community. Tonight is just the beginning!”

Trevor Smith, PEM’s Curator of the Present Tense, began the evening at Sweet Rickey in Boston last Thursday and spoke to the group of 170 strong with these exciting remarks. The crowd gave a round of energized applause and the evening opened up with warmth, energy, and palpable joy.


The vitality and dynamism of the event was the outcome of a truly unique new partnership between PEM, EDITBAR, Sweet Rickey and Oh Olive Creative.

It was an ideal example of the power of creative collaboration.

How did this come about? It started as a conversation. Michael Reuter, the Co-founder of EDITBAR in Boston and I were talking about how PEM was gathering together a new, younger cohort at the museum. We wondered together – - how could we engage a new community of artists, creative professionals, friends whose curiosity leads them to new artistic endeavors?


Alec Harrison and Jordan Greenfield look closely at a piece before the sun sets. Photo credit Kathy Tarantola.

Michael Reuter was also in conversation with curator Olivia Ives-Flores, of Oh Olive Creative.  Olivia was the Artist-in-Residence at the Gardner Museum.  Olivia had been interested in partnering with PEM and knew Trevor Smith’s curatorial work. And so the collaboration began!  The culmination was the Thursday evening event: an exciting gathering at innovative Sweet Rickey where we all enjoyed the works of female artists gaining wide acclaim for their remarkable work.


Artists and guests pause to smile mid-opening. Photo credit Kathy Tarantola.

As background, EDITBAR is located next door to the famed Union Oyster Bar, and about a year earlier launched a sister company Sweet Rickey, a female-helmed production company.  Sweet Rickey is nearing its one year anniversary, and after the initial meeting at their offices,  the theme of female contemporary artists emerged. The Salon, open through July 14 by appointment (contact,  includes over 20 local female artists including Rachel Perry.


John Lonborg and his son take a look at Kate Hush’s neon piece together. Photo credit Kathy Tarantola.

Each partner – EDITBAR, Sweet Rickey, Oh Olive Creative and PEM – is dedicated to fostering a creative ecosystem in Boston. Clearly the new community of artists and guests embraced this goal!  And now the wheels have already begun to turn as we plan our next gathering for this vibrant new community!


Friends converse among the crowd. Photo credit Kathy Tarantola.

Proceeds from the opening event and art sales supported the Malala Fund. This was important to Sweet Rickey and Olivia Ives-Flores’s curatorial practice:  to give back to an organization with a social mission.  PEM is adapting to a trend of younger donors wanting to connect social causes to events and experiences.


Michael Reuter, Vanessa Lonborg, Trevor Smith and Olivia Ives-Flores at The Salon. Photo credit Kathy Tarantola.

The Sweet Rickey loft style office space is alive with The Salon. The private preview included an incredible mix of artists and their guests, start-ups and investors,  advertising creatives, art collectors, PEM Gala Dance Party Committee members and other art appreciators.


Guests enjoyed the modern sound of harpist and composer Audrey Harrer. Photo credit Kathy Tarantola.

Sweet Rickey is headed by Vanessa Macedo Lonborg whose vision is to host events and screenings to encourage the ingenuity and artistry characteristic of her industry.

For Reuter, the partnership was about “bolstering, coalescing, supporting and celebrating the Boston creative community in all its forms:  specifically the female voice in this instance”.

As we work to bring young professionals and supporters closer to the museum, we are also looking for ways to spark creativity as we build our next generation of museum supporters.

PEM was proud to partner with EDITBAR, Sweet Rickey and Oh Olive Creative to celebrate our Boston creative community. To learn more about the partnership, The Salon, and the new member initiative and our upcoming events please email


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