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    Monday
    Sep012014

    "Welcome to Railroad Salvage" opens at the Great Falls Discovery Center

    Barbara Milot and NIna Rossi look at theold Railroad Salvage building, with historical timeline of the building by Anne Harding.

     

     

    In 1987 I moved into a big old house in Turners Falls with a mattress, my clothes and a few odds and ends donated by parents and friends. A trip to Railroad Salvage was necessary to outfit the kitchen with utensils, plates, cups, bowls: cheap items I could afford --and hoped to replace later. A few months later I bought satin slippers there to wear with my wedding gown. Four years later, I found rubberized flannel sheets to slip under my baby’s leaky backside--leftovers from the ‘50s, I think. 

      Over the years my growing family enjoyed the convenience of shopping there (12-6pm on Sundays!) and the surprise factor involved--you never knew what would be in stock: a load of hooked rugs from China or grandfather clocks or yellow denim pants or whatever. Merchandise that was slightly vintage, shop-worn, faded, irregular, was quite welcome in my melting pot decor of prizes found at the dump and tag sales.

    I have fond memories of these bargains that helped outfit my home on the cheap, but most of them have passed into the great jumble of elsewhere, with the exception of my stair runner, which has survived many crazy roommates, a marriage, several dogs and cats, and two sons who surfed and shrieked over it on a crib mattress and later pounded up and down it with their size 13 Chippewa boots.  

    Time has been kinder to me than to the old store, which went through a very long period of abuse and neglect after Railroad Salvage closed down, crumbling away behind chain link fences. It’s too far gone now for even the most foolish dreamer to exercise brick fantasies or another deceptive con artist to work another flim-flam deal, but it’s not beyond consideration by visual artists such as Barbara and I.

    Periodically I walk down and photograph the stages of decay. I made my first construction, “FUBAR”*, in 2007, at a particularly interesting point in time where fresh graffiti was visible and the walls rose to their full height. The round circle of unpainted brick always delighted me, and in newer pieces I have given in to letting the building have as many circles as it wants. Manipulating some of the photos resulted in making canvas totes printed with these colorful images (available at NIna’s Nook ).

    I found out last year that fellow artist and resident Barbara Milot was also studying the building and was ready to render the scene in her own way. We thought an exploration of our twin artistic relationships to this building would be a great idea for a Turners-centric exhibit. Anne Harding joined the project, contributing her amazing research skills to reveal its colorful past. I especially look forward to reading the personal memories of the building as people share them on the interactive timeline.

     

    *for those who don’t know, FUBAR is an acronym for “f***ed up beyond all repair”


    Monday
    Jul212014

    "Out of Line" opens July 30-Sept 10

    Nina's Nook is pleased to present the pen and ink drawings of artist and humorist Linda Baker-Cimini. 

    "The inhabitants of my drawings wear expressions borrowed from thousands of faces....Emotion and gesture inform the lines that draw us into a shared narrative. Everyone has an ongoing inner dialogue-I am simply compelled to illustrate mine."--Baker-Cimini
    Accompanying the drawings will be sculpture by N.S. Koenings and Nina Rossi, inspired by Baker-Cimini's two books, "From Here to There" and "Peculiar to the Region: A Field Guide to the Alphabet".
    "Out Of Line" opens on July 30th. A reception with the artist will take place on Saturday, August 16 from 4-7pm. Through Sept. 10.
    Linda's Bio:

    Linda Baker-Cimini was born in the year of the wooden dragon. This CAN be a fire hazard and exacerbates a predisposition to an assortment of phobias and generalized neurosis. Other than that she's very well adjusted. Just make sure you don't touch her feet. Ever. Also, of historical significance: it was a time when a certain species of Beatle infected young girls with mass hysteria. Then came the Rolling Stones and so on. Many other things were happening simultaneously.

    Linda was unaware of all this. She was busy having staring contests with cows, reading "NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC" magazines and dragging large, interesting objects home to store in the pole shed for further study. They didn't have a T.V. She was omnivorous in her choice of reading material and WAS, if truth be told, VERY much influenced by a book's cover. She grew up on a dead end road. The town was proud of it's obscurity and was known as the smallest community in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA, population 176. It was beautful.

    Linda didn't have playmates that were of the same species,(besides her brother), but she had LOTS of imaginary friends and there were seasonal friends... mudpuppies and toads in the neighbor's fire pond. You could never skate on it because the chickens walked all over it the minute it started to freeze and made the ice all lumpy.

    As a child, (and as an older child), she had an aversion to organized scholastic pursuits and most other activities that involved speaking to or making eye contact with other children. She did however like to watch them from the safety of the playground's observation blind.

    Linda wishes she was born with a prehensile tail. She loves coffee. She's allergic to wool, (nasty rash is what happens). Her favorite color is Safety Green. She believes that having large feet increases ones stability.

    She presently resides in Pittsfield, Massachusetts with her pet caterpillar, Hugo. her pet night crawler, Bill has gone missing. Her mother has a worm farm in new Mexico. Maybe Bill went there to visit.

    Her Books are guaranteed to procure smiles  $15.oo each, available at all times at Nina's Nook and her website. www.pantsateria.com.

     

     

     

    Sunday
    Jun082014

    Photographs by Candance Silver

     Candace Silver’s photographs remind us that the world is amazing in all of its wonderful detail. Who could ever imagine a  show inspired by a glass of coco cola? See for yourself in splendid prints on canvas how Candace captures an eruption of light and color in a glass of coke on a sunlit table.  Rich brown-blacks, brilliant orange flares, sweeping and shimmering ribbons of white light refracting from the glass offer us a rare outlook on the ordinary. 

     “I came to the realization I was going to have to find the extraordinary within the environment I had available to me...I couldn’t get out to drive around , it had to be right here!” Taking the coca cola image one step further from the accidental, she posed glasses of tinted water to get new colors of reflected light.  

      Candace grew up in an atmosphere that encouraged her creativity and can’t remember a time she wasn’t painting or constructing something. “I’ve known since I was three that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, I’ve always known that. I just love what I am doing and I feel I have reached a level of competence that I am pleased with. I can hardly wait to see what’s going to happen next!” 

    Raised in the Ozarks, she spent much of her adult life in Tennessee. Like many female artists, raising a family became her main creative endeavor for most of those years. At one point she did piece work for a doll maker in Tennessee, stitching together body parts and learning cloth construction techniques. This knowledge informed the making of her “Little People” dolls, also featured at the gallery, that she began making in more recent years from natural materials such as roots, feathers, bones, and turtle shells.

    While visiting with some friends she met from Ashfield in 1986 Candace fell in love with the town of Shelburne Falls. “I was not even out of the car, it was just my foot sticking out the door, but I was like --‘This is it, I am home!’ It was strong, intense. I determined then that I would move here one day and it took ten years because that’s just the way life is” recalled Candace.  During the winter of 1996 she arrived in town to 6 feet of snow and the welcoming arms of a diverse arts community. 

    She also arrived “desperate to get creative energy going again” which led her to takeclasses at Greenfield Community College in oil painting and photography opening further avenues of expression. “It’s been an amazing evolution being here, the people  are so awesome. I never felt like I belonged in Tennessee. I feel like I belong here, we’re all artsy-fartsy oddballs and we all accept that we’re oddballs and so we get along.” 

    Wednesday
    Apr162014

    "Transformagination: the Surreal Collage Art of Tiffany Heerema"

     

    It's the nature of things to serve many purposes other than that which was originally intended, and in the realm of pure imagination, of course, the possibilities are endless. A seashell becomes a boat or a hideaway. An arch in
    the rock functions as a TV nook. Greek columns are barstools at the soda fountain of the gods. Treat yourself to a fantastic alternative reality at Nina's Nook during the month of May! 

    Note: all Tiffany's collages are hand cut, not digital.


     

     

    Wednesday
    Mar052014

    "Look at Me" opens March 19

    Nina’s Nook presents “Look At Me!”  featuring playful wooden sculptures by William Accorsi. Created over the last 7 years, some of the 65 sculptures presented here serve as children’s banks,  others as mirrors or curious puzzles. Other art works include original scenes from the pages of Accorsi’s many children’s books, created in felt, fabric and thread and decorated with wire, buttons, and wood. Accorsi has culled illustrations from hundred-year old childrens magazines to collage many of these new items. 

    The artist has produced nine childrens books, two adult art books of his work, and has been featured by elite galleries around the world. Exhibit opens March 19 through April 26. Nina’s Nook is at 125A Avenue A Turners Falls MA. Open W-Th 4-6pm Fri-Sat 1-6pm and by appointment, 413-834-8800.