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    "Fervor From the Truth" Opens April 5


    “Fervor from the Truth: Spiritual Absurdities by Edite Cunha, Gina Vernava and Others” opens Thursday, April 5 at Nina’s Nook, 125A Avenue A Turners Falls MA.


    Cunha and Vernava combine mosaic techniques with repurposed and recycled materials to create unique commentaries on their religious and spiritual cultural experiences.

    Cunha’s series of “AlterVirgins” are an “artistic response to my early Catholic upbringing combined with more recent spiritual explorations. My AlterVirgins are not virgins in the carnal sense. One might say they are emancipated virgins. They are funny, cheeky, sassy and they have fun on their way to eternity."


     Vernava’s pieces deal with “the absurdities of Spirituality. Some are humorous, all are political commentary due to my own personal opposition to the rise of the Political Christian Right.” 


    Pam Allan, Lauren Paradise, and Elise Vegliante also contribute to this multimedia exhibit in the tiny Turners Falls art space.

    April 5-May 12 at Nina’s Nook, 125A Avenue A, with

    Artists Reception Saturday, April 7, 4-6pm at nearby Burrito Rojo restaurant, 50 Third St  Turners Falls.


    --I am very excited to present this show. The work is humorous, intelligent, original and has a lot of "back story"! What more can you ask for? For more detail, read the following statement by Edite:

    The work presented in Fervor From the Truth is from my AlterVirgins™ Series.  The AlterVirgins are an artistic response to my early Catholic upbringing combined with more recent spiritual explorations. As a child, I was mesmerized by the ceremony and ritual, imagery and iconography of the church. I was fascinated, and often terrified, by the mystery and miracles, the drama and frequent gore in the stories of the lives of the saints. My mother was born in Brazil, where she spent her formative years before moving to Portugal. There, she was surrounded by the synchronization of religions via the Catholic Church her family attended, and the Candomble and Umbanda Terreiros of the neighborhoods.  There, Xango, the Yuroban Orixa of Fire, Lightning and Iron and St. Barbara, were one and the same, the Orixa, when need be, hidden behind the safer, more acceptable Saint. As a college student I studied Afro-Brazilian literature, religion and culture and learned more about these traditions. I began to understand why my mother, a practicing Catholic, also attended, when given the opportunity, churches and gathering places of other faiths; why she quietly hid partially open scissors near all the entries to her homes; why she burned rosemary and prayed to St. Barbara at the first hint of thunder storm. In her quiet way, she was mixing it up, taking what worked for her, from the spiritual choices she had available to her.  The AlterVirgins emerge from this history, mystery, curiosity and learning, as well as from my simultaneous attraction to and repulsion by the church I was raised in. 


    The first AlterVirgin, Our Lady of Peas and Tranquil Tea, arrived on a stormy night.  I was sleepless and worried about my youngest daughter who was on her way, crammed into the back of a small pickup truck with far too many others, to a concert in NYC. Earlier in the evening, I had stood by the potholes in Shelburne Falls, watching as she and others layered themselves sardine-like into the truck. The weather service was warning flash floods and urging people to stay off the roads throughout much of the Northeast.  Despite the dire warnings, my daughter and company were planning to drive through the storm¸ because the concert would be amazing, and the tickets were too dear to be given up. I watched drive way, went home and later, unable to sleep, began breaking china and adhering it to an old wooden drawer. I added an image of the Virgin Mary, a little dog, a teapot and teacup. In the wee hours I understood that I had created a personal Madonna that could give me what I needed, peace and tranquility, but with a humorous twist.  I knew then that there were many more such Madonnas, waiting in the wings. 

    To read about the lives of the saints, is to read about suffering and pain. The Catholic Virgins suffered torture, abuse, deprivation and every manner of horrible fate on their way to heavenly recognition. And, they were virgins to boot. Enough of that! My AlterVirgins are not virgins in the carnal sense. One might say they are emancipated virgins. They are funny, cheeky, sassy and they have fun on their way to eternity.


    A word about materials: I mainly use recycled and repurposed materials in my work. Sometimes an idea comes from the material at hand. Other times, a Lady arrives in my psyche, and I go out into the world to find the materials she demands. I save everything, bottle caps, fabric and paper scraps, candy wrappers, sardine cans. 


    A word about Gina Vernava, my partner in this show: Two women who, unbeknownst to each other, both save sardine cans for future artistic creations, are artistic soul mates and  meant to be in a show together. It was destined.  




    Special Thanks to:  Ed Litwak, Geoff Whiton,  Gina Vernava, Nina Rossi, for technical support and feedback. 


    Edite Cunhā . Turners Falls, MA 01376 .


    And this St Francis statement by Pam Allan:


    Francis of Assisi
    born Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone, 1182-1226

    I have a special fondness for ecstatic saints who, if they were alive today, might be our friends in half-way houses or the homeless we pass on the streets.

    Francis is one of those wild and crazy guys! He wandered all over medieval Italy, barefoot and sometimes naked. Stories of Francis are charmingly childlike. He did a handstand for a nun! He talked a wolf into stopping his attacks on a village! He asked for cookies on his deathbed! He offered his underpants to God!! He built snowmen and dreamed of chickens!

    1. The Snowmen. Living a life of celibacy, Francis still longed for the comfort of a womanís touch. One day, the story goes, Francis was so engulfed in desire he stripped naked and built 8 snowmen. "These snowmen will be my family," he is reported to have said.  

    2. The Chicken Dream. Francis desired a life of solitary prayer and meditation. However, a chicken appeared to him in a dream. Francis accepted this a a sign that he needed to continue to lead the religions order he had founded, the Little Brothers. 





    Hours at the Nook

    Hours at Nina's Nook are

    Thurs 4-6

    Fri-Sat 1-6

    Triple S exhibit comes down after March 10. The Nook will be closed Wed and Thurs March 14 and 15 for rehanging.


    New Items at Nina's Nook, December 22

    I know this is rather last minute, but inspiration abounds at the Nook! There's a new batch of really wacky slugs clinging to the walls--

    First of course it's Slithery Santa Slug!

    Accompanied by

    "Stunted Stella" and "Stepped on Steve".

    I thought at first, an amusing way to use up some of the smaller scraps, but I'm seeing "Stepped on Steve" leave the  store rather quickly!

    Also in the key of green:

    A new linen bag lined with black wool and bearing a handmade polymer embellishment. From a medieval-era replica pattern as is the one below:

    The week after Christmas I will be open  Wed and Thursday 4-6pm, Friday 2-6, Saturday 1-5.

    Then in January I am taking a break to replenish some items and do some painting! 

    Getting ready for the erotic art exhibit opening February  1: "Triple S:Sensual>Sexual>Smut"!!! 


    Peek at the Nook, October/November

    Some of the "Etwas" serving as incense holders. 

    Little Robot pendant

    Flo Rosenstock miniature vase

    Wall mirror reflecting Harry Williams photo 

    New arrangement of walls 


    Ariel Jones with some of her work at the Nook



    Accepting Submissions for February Exhibit at Nina's Nook

    Call for Artists:

    Have you created erotic art work  and not found the right venue for displaying it? Nina’s Nook provides an opportunity to explore the continuum from sensual to smutty during the “love month” of February.  Dust off those Chaucerian dioramas and naughty dream boxes. 

    Artists are welcome to submit up to three works for inclusion in the “Triple S: Sensual>Sexual>Smut” exhibit at Nina’s Nook in Turners Falls during the month of February 2012.

    Painting, Photography, Fiber, mixed media ( not to exceed 20 by 20 inches) and tabletop sized Sculpture welcome, as well as small functional/craft items that are erotic in nature (excluding clothing or food items). 

    Mail jpeg images on disc to Nina’s Nook  125A Avenue A Turners Falls MA 01376

    Or email images to with Triple S in subject line. Please mail/email contact information, brief artists statement relating to the submissions, dimensions and prices of work submitted for jurying, and a $10 check to Nina’s by December 23rd.    

    A limited number of works will be selected due to size constraints of the art space. Smaller work more likely to be chosen.  

    For further information please contact Nina Rossi 413.834.8800, email from this website, or find Nina’s Nook on Facebook.