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    Thursday
    Aug162018

    Summer Winds Down at Nina's Nook & Cranny

    As August closes down, I have had to remove moldy furnishings from my cranny where I haven't been able to sit out in for many a day due to the torrential and unpredictable thrunderstorms we have been having this summer. The lack of sunshine in my cranny has been great for growing giant coleus plants, but mold and mushrooms have flourished as well!

    This year, I did not try to have outdoor receptions for art shows, and in fact I missed posting one show of sculpture by Ron Edwards on this webiste entirely, concentrating instead on all the ways "social media" can spread the word.

    I have felt less ambitious about the store, now in its seventh season. Maybe because I am not making much new work. I wish I had more time to make the arts and crafts I used to, but I've been playing with a few music groups and that has consumed my time, as well as projects with Exploded View and at my house and yard. 

    At the Nook through September are the digital collages of Diana Pedrosa of Turners Falls.

    Diana Pedrosa is a multi media artist who goes by the alias ixchelailee or ixchel. She combines past photography education and passion for image transfer with her tactile inclinations towards fibers and patterns. 

     

    Her materials include pattern paper, electrical, scotch, & gaffer's tape, found and appropriated images, photographs & photocopies, glue and paint and most recently, digital photo editing programs. 

    Recently, she has designed and printed a full deck of custom playing cards, available for pre-order @ 26.00. Viewable on her Instagram account @ixchelailee.art.

     

    Thursday
    Mar292018

    Join us for Your Exquisite Corpse!

    Engage in this interactive art exhbiit, Your Exquisite Corpse,  coming to Turners Falls and Greenfield during the statewide ArtsWeek! We will be presenting this project April 29 at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Fa1ls  from 11 to 3:30 and at Hawks & Reed Performing Art Center in Greenfield on May 4, 5 and 6.

     

     

    Thursday
    Jan112018

    "Slice of Humanity" opens at Nina's Nook February 1

    TURNERS FALLS — “Slice of Humanity” at Nina’s Nook in Turners Falls presents the work of five artists capturing the human figure using paints, brushes, markers, pens and mixed media collage: Robert Bent, Suzanne Conway, Lauren Paradise, Jeff Wrench, and gallery owner/artist Nina Rossi. A wide variety of figural work is represented, each artist working their inimitable style to fill the walls of the Valley’s smallest gallery.

    Robert Bent of Greenfield paints using a loose brush stroke, sometimes incorporating pastels and charcoal into impressionistic paintings that retain a certain lovely openness about them. Bent explains,  “For the most part I take my work in a representational trajectory running along an expressionist/modernist/abstract spectrum. I like to consider my painting and drawing as aiming for non-fictional expression, revealing my decisions about mark-making and my multiple responses to the chosen subjects. I recognize that there are certainly fictional (abstracted) components in individual pieces.” He intends for these explorations, responses and perceptions  to “reveal the questions and tensions flowing from that process.” Mostly self-taught and with several stints in art school, Bent believes that “painting records, in a form of visual poetry, the practitioners placement in the world, in community, in what is recognized as reality. Putting color and line on canvas becomes a form of verse with each painter’s dialect revealing the artist’s development and the experience of knowing.” 

    Suzanne Conway of  Colrain is a humor illustrator, and her drawings are notable for the expressive lines. “I have always had ‘twitchy’ hands,” she explains, “with an insatiable desire to draw humans, usually humans in motion, at rest, thinking, dancing, playing, bumping around in crowds.” 

    Although she studied International Relations at Mt. Holyoke College,  and received a Masters in Education at UMass Amherst,  “my passion for Art always drowned out any drive towards any ‘high-powered career’…  My college notebooks were always littered with human torsos, breasts, expressions, legs, etc.   Later on, as I paid my bills working in law office cubicles, I continued to ‘spit out’ humans in motion on post-notes, message pads, etc. throughout the years.” 

    Growing up in a boisterous family of 11, she became an illustrator at the young age of three and has sought to master the art of cartooning ever since. Her keen eye captures the personality of each subject and the general mood of everyday scenes with loving detail.

    Lauren Paradise lived in the Valley for fifteen years and although she is now living on a mill pond in the Midwest, she maintains her many ties to Western Mass. She grew up in Rome, Italy and was taken to many concerts, galleries, museums, operas as her family traveled all over the world. She attended art schools in London, England and Urbino, Italy and studied under Malio Guberti Helfrich, a family friend. She draws inspiration from the work of  Bonnard, Matisse, Utrillo, Beckmann and Vladimir Naiditch. 

    Says Lauren, “I cannot imagine life without painting. I hope that people fall a bit in love with my made up characters and scenes of life as I see it.” Her small scale paintings are populated by people doing ordinary things—sitting in cafes, waiting by phones, waitressing, singing on stage, drinking coffee, laughing with friends. She uses expressive dry brush outlines and blocks of color to make up her compositions, which are reminiscent of story boards for a worldly writer such as Collette. 

    Jeff Wrench is a relative new-comer to the Valley, moving to Northampton from Connecticut last summer. He is a experimental musician (or noisician) under the name Brutum Fulmen as well as a painter. Says Wrench, “I like to examine the things we see every day, which are often taken for granted and may have a beauty that is overlooked. This includes making paintings of average (non-celebrity) people, and the incorporation of found materials such as paint chips and wallpaper samples. Likewise, I draw attention to the paint itself by using heavy brush strokes and colors that may not necessarily conform to reality. These techniques and the use of ‘ready-made’ surfaces create opportunities for serendipity.” 

    He points out that people are most interested in other humans as subject matter, and seeks to capture the shared human experience. His music parallels his attention to the ordinary and the found by composing with “noises of ordinary objects which make sounds that are usually only ignored.” 

    Nina Rossi is exhibiting her geometric interpretations of the figure in several drawings, sculpture and mixed media constructions.  The unusual divisions represented by her pen create an architectural blueprint that also somehow remains faithful to the character of the subject. In addition to the abstract figure studies, Rossi presents expressive line drawings depicting local people working their jobs: fixing motorcycles and snowblowers, working at the DPW, the bank, farms, restaurants, stores, and other mundane  scenes.  A handful of acrylic portraits done on cardboard pizza rounds depict locals who used the Millers Falls laundromat during a week in August. 

    Gallery hours are: Thursday, Friday, Saturday from noon until 5 p.m. or by appointment: 413-834-8800. Nina’s Nook is located at 125A Avenue A in Turners Falls, next to the Black Cow Burger Bar. The “Slice of Humanity” exhibit will run from February 1 through March 31. Visit online at www.ninasnook.com.

     Untitled by RObert Bent

    Portrait on a paint chip by Jeff Wrench

    Acrobats by Suzanne Conway

     Evening Walk by Lauren Paradise

     

    Figure drwaing by Nina Rossi

    Friday
    Dec012017

    Greetings!

    Here I am in front of the tiny storefront of my shop on Avenue A in Turners Falls yesterday. I've got a full complement of items inside that are totally unnecessary, but will bring joy to your home or enhance your appearance: jewelry to add sparkle to your eyes, incense to sweeten the air, gartden slugs to hug or chuckle at, inventive clocks and carved wooden utensils for your kitchen as well as my famous "Pot holders", and divers art for the joy of color and form in your environment. COme by Thursday through Saturdays before Christmas from noon to 6 and check it out! 

    Thursday
    Oct192017

    What's Next at Nina's Nook?

    The change in the seasons brings with it a feeling of change churning within. The need to make new work, to reach into materials and commune directly with fabric, brush, paint, wood, metal, can't be pushed off much longer. Performances have been done, and past, and now the desire to create more durable items is strong.I will be sharing my process in "live studio" at the Nook! Stop by and visit the Maker. Wityh the closing of my back yard,I'll be burrowing deep into my personal stash of items to knock together creatures of my imagination while tending to my store. Such as it is! Visitors and shoppers welcome whenever the lights are on, as per usual.