Sal Strom is a Multi-Media artist from the Oregon Coast. Often with a focus on the social political and creating projects with people interaction.
The meaning of my Norwegian surname, Strom, means “current”, which aptly describes the Oregon Coast’s influence on my means of giving visual, interpretive expression to the environment that raised me.
Growing up in Depoe Bay, child of the “Sea Hag” bar and restaurant run by my mother Gracie, this local institution was our community’s focal point. Sailors, actors, politicians were frequent guests. Social-Political art stems from this There was danger, beauty; all part of my “living theater”.
Netted glass balls hung from the ceiling, an entire wall was a 3-D mermaid, Gracie improvising one of her famous glass bottle symphonies. An eclectic group, an eclectic exchange.
Watching storm-battered boats lose the battle against the harbor rocks; photographing a decaying whale, beached and monumental; gale force winds and fog, tangled seaweed nests and driftwood forts. Leaping down sand dunes and inspecting rotting sea life. Amazement of the world of tiny life forms clinging to rocks; some specimens brought home in glass jars. Transformative and provocative imagery.
This world was my museum. From this harbor of brine and surf came figurative drawing, gestural and quick as waves. Their rolling landscapes a testament to movement, swell, and sound. From drawing, the move toward abstraction was natural; distilling shape and gesture, choosing essentials from the realm of limitless possibility.
I know this place. It’s visceral, pulsing, colorful; a map of continually shifting, layered observations. Narration’s possibilities are like a wide arc on the treasure-laden shore.