Nave Gallery and Nave Annex a Project of Love

By Melissa Glick of Hacker Creations

SBThreads - Copy
Founder/Director Susan Berstler with her work, Plastic Octopus, Threads Bared, 2011

Since 2004 the Nave Gallery in Teele Square has been the public face of ARTSomerville, a nonprofit, loosely knit volunteer group of artists and arts enthusiasts with the mutual goal to create new space(s) to present art in Somerville. In 2013 we added a second exhibition space, the Nave Annex in Davis Square. The Nave Gallery and the Nave Annex  provide space for the collaboration and presentation of art of all media. Work that is non-commercial and is a commentary on contemporary culture is especially encouraged. Artists shown to date have been local, national and international, emerging and established.

Kathy Desmond, Memory Palace, March 2013

It’s really quite mind boggling when you look at the list of shows founder/director Susan Berstler has brought into being. Unlike a community gallery with a membership, the topics and concepts for shows at The Nave have been all encompassing. They range from the poetic to the inspired, profound & evocative. For example: Corrupt Susceptible Hearts, Oct 2010, Ghost Town Planet, Feb 2008, The Beast in me, April 2010. Not to say they are all so dark, there were fun ones like: Picnic 2014, Play 2004, Rise Up, 2006 and Doodle, 2014. Mysterious ones: Surprise the Tender Alphabet, June 2009, The Secret Knowledge of Water, July 2008 and Contain, Keep Cradle, 2014. The variety of media has been extensive: in addition to painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, installation and printmaking there have been shows of encaustic, ceramic, fiber, books, experimental, multimedia work, installations, mini golf & cartoons.

From Bibliophilia Curated by Hannah Verlin Oct 2014

Support the Nave by eating Pizza!

The Nave exists because of volunteers and donations and on Tuesday, June 30, Flatbread Pizza (617) 776-0552. Located at 45 Day Street, Somerville, will be donating a portion of the money spent on EVERY pizza sold after 5 pm, in the restaurant, ordered by phone or online to  Nave Somerville! Make next Tuesday June 30th pizza night!  Please show your support!

Mariachi Ducks

Nave Somerville relies on a number of dedicated creative folks. Everything we do is volunteer run and there are no paid staff members.  We are always looking for volunteers to get involved. Additionally, The Nave has thought up some very unique fundraising ideas such as Flea Markets and art auctions of commissioned work including, Preserving Summer in a Jar and another involved painted rubber ducks.


Preserving Summer in a Jar, 2013

Tori Costa initiated The  Wrap Around Project  in 2009 with a few yarn storming events around the city. Now it not only includes an annual Fiber Swap and frequent meetups for knitters and crocheters, it has become an annual sale of knitted goods to benefit Somerville Homeless Coalition. The Wrap Around Project has grown into a yearlong campaign that combines art and activism to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness in our area.


hedge yarnflowers
Hedge yarnflowers from The Knit Art House in Crochetville, 2013 curated by Tori Costa

Our priorities are community relationships and using the arts to influence those who come into contact with it, to examine their own worlds. Mark Alston-Follansbee, Executive Director of the Somerville Homeless Coalition put into words how the arts can effect the world around us when he said, “ We are so grateful not only for the significant funds that the Nave has raised on our behalf, but also for all of the awareness that they have raised about our organization and what we do. Through their ways of engaging the community we have been able to expand our network of supporters; which is truly invaluable.”

  Current Shows
Gallery Opening for HackCycle June 11, 2015
Gallery Opening for HackCycle June 11, 2015

HackCycle celebrates recycled art of the 21st century, examining the transformation of bits, bytes, cruft, e-waste, circuits, doodads, odds & ends and more into objects of art, and is open at the Nave on Powderhouse Blvd. Sat and Sun 1- 5 pm. This Sunday, curator and featured artist Melissa Glick will be offering a free workshop in Hacker Junk Mosaics at 2 pm. Folks are invited to make collage on a wooden surface and adorn it with old computer parts. All materials will be supplied.

At the Annex will be Survey Without Surveillance which explores the insidious and persistence of mass surveillance and how the act of observing or being observed changes us. The Opening reception is tonight at 6 pm, Friday June 26th –  53 Chester St. Davis Sq Somerville. Followed by a concert at 8 pm.

In conjunction with the show will be a Privacy Salon, an immersive conversation attempting to locate and find ways to redraw our personal boundaries, Fri. July 10 at 7:30 pm. Please take our Privacy Questionnaire to participate in an experiment being conducted by the artists.

It’s impossible to convey how many amazing shows and events have taken place at the Naves in this short blog, visit this Photo Stream  to see more images.

There are so many ways to get involved

Tori Costa, Margaret Ryan &  at Art Beat, 2013

You can get involved by submitting to an open call, gallery sitting,  doing publicity or assisting with installation. Current Open Calls are: Who Might I Be?: Pretending, Disguise & Elusion and 2015 Somerville Toy Camera Festival both have deadlines of July 1. Full list of upcoming Open Calls.  Proposals for curatorial opportunities, group shows & artist in residences are also welcome. For more info please contact:

How do you want to get Involved?



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