A West Somerville ramble: a pilot, some ajvar and lots of polaroids

Saturday I ventured out to soak up some local art at Somerville Open Studios' 11th annual extravaganza.

Wending my way through Ball Square, I happened upon an unassuming house with a globe out front in addition the usual SOS balloons.  Travel photography!  And a globe (the spherical teaching aid, not the newsprint smear on the highway of media progress) fan too!  Turns out I had wandered into the home of Patrick Smith, pilot and author of the Ask The Pilot column and book.  It should come as no surprise that he's also an avid photographer, although he prefers to steer clear of the Art label and make documentary snapshots. I was lucky enough to get a peep at Smith's photos and also his collection of airline ephemera, from postcards to wing pins to playing cards to barf bags.  Do you remember when you got stuff like cards and pins even in coach class?  Do you remember TWA, Pan Am and Braniff?  Smith does.

Zucchini fritters with ajvarSwinging through Davis and past the recently expanded Dave's Fresh Pasta, I was drawn to the patio at Sabur for a snack and a drink.  I saw their brunch menu for the first time (is it new?) and was tempted by dishes such as cheese burek, Macedonian breakfast (eggs, lutenica, cheese and biscuit), pljeskavica with eggs and ajvar.  In the end I went with an old favorite, zucchini and feta fritters with ajvar and a glass of Babich NZ Savignon Blanc. In fact, it turns out that Babich is a Croatian export, to New Zealand, much as Grgich is to California.

Back on the art trail, I visited the Nave Gallery's group show of toy camera and alternative processes, Alter Ego.  (I was almost hoping for the punny version, Altar Ego at the Nave Gallery)  Some 34 artists showed work shot with a variety of unusual cameras, from oatmeal box pinholes to "toys" like Holga and Diana to Polaroid SX-70 and others, and printed in a range of processes such as cyanotype, lith print, polaroid transfer, platinum and tintype .

I was pleased to see another platinum tripych by David Strasburger as I purchased one at the PRC Auction last year.  V. Van Sant's "Intermission" is a huge grid of Polaroid SX-70 prints of the "the end" title of hundreds of movies and TV programs.  Serrah Russell's piece, "She wore her grandma's dresss" is a grid of delicate polaroid emulsion transfers onto canvas, made of fabric, depicting fabric and talking about fabric.  That's a too-brief description of just a fraction of what's on display at Nave, much of it very reasonably priced.  The opening is later this week, on Thursday evening.  I recommend you check it out.

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  1. [...] almost too much going on the four or so rooms of an otherwise typical apartment that the Nave Gallery has taken over. The card lists 16 artists and there are almost certainly more if you count the [...]

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