Flowers in February

    Photos by Anita M. Harris
    February 1-28, 2010

    Lincoln Public Library
    3 Bedford Road
    Lincoln, MA
    Reception: Saturday, Feb. 13, 3-4:30 PM


    In this exhibit, I hope to share the joy I feel when discovering the amazing shapes, colors, and patterns of nature—and to offer a bright spot, an indoor garden, a few rays of warmth and hope, during these cold, dark, winter days.
     I’m especially pleased to be showing my photos in the Lincoln Library—where I’ve much appreciated the helpfulness and graciousness of the staff.  In return, I plan to donate a portion of profits from photo sales to the library.

    I hope you enjoy the photos, which are available for purchase from Anita Harris Photography (see below) or at the Town Hall Exchange, 25 Lincoln Rd., Lincoln, MA.
     I’d welcome your comments!

     ———Anita  Harris

    Anita M. Harris a photographer, writer, communications consultant and member of the Lincoln Library’s Write Stuff group.  Her photos have been shown at the Arlington and Concord Art Associations, at Harvard University and in the Boston Public Library. They have also published in popular and trade publications and seen on the CBS Discovery Channel.

    Anita Harris Photography 
    Cambridge, MA 02138

    New Cambridge Observer is a publication of the Harris Communications Group of Cambridge, MA. We also publish Harriscomblog and Ithaca Diaries blog.  


Kaddish, Morgan Paintings Metal, materials  and process bond the largely abstract  landscapes  of  Timothy Kadish (New Paintings) and Jessie Morgan (Night Tides)  in this month’s intriguing show at the Clark Gallery, 145 Lincoln Rd,  in Lincoln, MA.

Both sets of works provoke the viewer to ask–“What is this made of? And how  did the artist do that?”

Night Tides II, MorganMorgan’s  elegant abstract, monochromatic work appears, at first, to be photographic or  film-based  but the explanatory materials attest that it is acryllic painted on  aluminum or plexiglass–with wide brushstrokes seeming to form landscapes-sky, ice, water, snow, trees exhibiting  a  shiny, reflecting (and reflective?)  quality.  A few of the works use vibrant blues and greens.

Kadish’s colorful paintings– primitivistic, childlike and seemingly whimsical,  are full of Kadish Redsuprises–geometric shapes, animal figures, thick goopy coils of oil paint, metallic  oraments  painted, glued, stapled, pressed or otherwise  attached to the canvas…which isn’t  necessarily canvas.

Neophotosynth – 2009, for example, is an 80 x 60 oil including all of the above,Kadish-Large lead as well as  gouache, silver and gold leaf on silver-colored lead on copper that completely covers a frame .

The longer I stood in front of each painting, the more I found in it and the more I enjoyed it.

Both artists involved me in a process of  discovery that allowed me to absorb,  one step or  stroke at a time, how their concepts and motions brought their work  into being.

The exhibit is worth seeing.  It will be up through January 30.

—Anita M. Harris
New Cambridge Observer is a publication of the Harris Communications Group of Cambridge, MA. We also publish HarrisComBlog and Ithaca Diaries Blog.

Photo of Les Femmes du Moroque

Les Femmes du Moroque-Reclining Odalisque

Lalla Essaydi’s Les Femmes du Maroc  is a must-see. Today is its last day at the DeCordova Museum, in Lincoln, MA, but it will be soon travelling to the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum in Rutgers, New Jersey.

In her large-format photos of women in chadors, and, sometimes veils,  Moroccan- born Lalla Essaydi presents a beautiful and provocative challenge to  perceptions about Muslim women going back centuries.

The limited palette photographs in henna, black, and gray on white, depict individual or groups of women in chadors and, sometimes, veils, in poses or situations modeled after  paintings by great European masters, reproductions of which accompany most of the photos. Les Femmes du Maroc #4

But instead of  emulating the rich color and sexual innuendo of the paintings, Essaydi changes  gestures, replaces men with women, and covers much of the surface area with arabic writing–illegible even to those who know the language.

As described on the DeCordova Web site, These women inhabit a place that is literally and entirely circumscribed by text, written directly on their bodies, apparel, and their surroundings by the artist herself.

Les Femmes du MarocIn commentary provided through cell-phone dial in (difficult to hear because Lincoln has limited cell service)  Essadi explains that she wants to make clear that the work of male artists of centuries past has done a disservice to Muslim women by objectifying them as sexual objects, often in harems.

She points out that writing was a form reserved for men, and that one of the original  painting is so extraordinarily beautiful that one can easily overlook the subject matter: a naked woman being sold as a slave.

She brings up the difference between private and public space–that painters would never have been allowed into women’s homes, which were considered private space–but thought nothing of bringing women into their studios and showing paintings of them in public spaces–which were ordinarily reserved for men.

Les Femmes du Maroc #4 Essadyi also provides a complex interpretation of  “the veil”. On the one hand,  its use is sometimes considered a way of subjugating women, of keeping them out of public life, of denying them equality,  full citizenship. On the other hand, she says, she herself sometimes appreciates the veil and finds it freeing–because it protects her and her privacy from a potentially dangerous outside world.

Organized by Senior Curator Nick Capasso, Les Femmes du Maroc will travel to the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, January 30, 2010 – June 6, 2010.

——-Anita M. Harris

New Cambridge Observer is a publication of the Harris Communications Group of Cambridge, MA. We also publish Harriscomblog and Ithaca Diaries blog.

Lowell Open Studios Photo

Lowell Open Studios Photo

I was wonderfully suprised and impressed by Lowell Open Studios–held this weekend in the old milltown about 45 minutes north of Cambridge.  Two huge old mill buildings, five floors each, at 122 Western Avenue,  have been transformed to include  beautiful artist’s studios, a museum, sound studios and a cafeteria, with artists’ living quarters in the works.

My friend Mark and I enjoyed seeing friend Adrien Bisson’s nature and portrait photography (unsolicited plug: they’re fabulous; he’s available to shoot  corporate, family, and educational events).      .

We then drove to the center of town, where  mills and artists are showcased in what has become  Market Mills and the Lowell National Historic Park.    Across the courtyard outside the reception center, we found the Brush Art Gallery and Studios, where  a photograph by friend Paul Weiner was displayed  in an all-cat exhibit.

We enjoyed the show which, eclectic in form if not content, included a patchwork quilt, sculpture, photography, and painting, with proceeds donated to homeless kitties. A  highlight was that these cats did not make me itch.

Anita M. Harris

New Cambridge Observer is a publication of the Harris Communications Group of Cambridge, MA. We also publish HarrisCom Blog.

Karen Davis and Mark Orton–Cantabridigians until this summer–invite all to  a reception and opening celebration for  their new gallery on Saturday, September 12, 5:30 to 7:30  pm at 114 Warren St. in Hudson, NY.   Circle-SwingWebsite

Called–not surprisingly–the Davis Orton Gallery, it’s located on an architecturally rich street famous for its antique shops, galleries and restaurants. 

 The first Davis Orton exhibition will feature  Meg Birnbaum’s series of black and white photographs of county fairs throughout New England made using a plastic toy camera.

These evocative images with their antique quality and timeless subjects present a wistful look back while revealing clues that remind us of their contemporary origins.

 Birnbaum is an award-winning fine art photographer and graphic designer based in Massachusetts. She has work in the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the corporate program of the DeCordova Museum and other private and corporate collections. ‘Corn Dogs and Blue Ribbons …’ has recently been exhibited at the Griffin Museum of Photography.

The exhibit will also include  photographs by  Moira Barrett, Karen Davis, Ellen Feldman, Cassandra Goldwater and Frank Tadley.

The Davis Orton Gallery exhibits contemporary photography, mixed media and a growing number of artist-published photobooks, Davis said.  The goal of the gallery is to present mid-career artists and emerging artists whose work deserves a broader audience.

Davis and Orton have taught at Lesley College. While I miss having them close by, I’ve visited them in Hudson and am excited that they’re moving through art into action.

–Anita M. Harris


New Cambridge Observer is a publication of the Harris Communications Group of Cambridge, MA.  We also publish HarrisCom blog.

Last night, Ed, Sheila and I were having a lovely dinner outside on the water at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art after a “tasting” event that I’d give mixed reviews..or, even, a pan (so to speak).

It was the third of  four gourmet “tastings”   sponsored by the national law firm Eckert Seamans, which has an office in Boston.  

 In June, Ed and Sheila had enjoyed a tasting given by Ana Sortun, owner of Cambridge restaurants  Oleana and Sofra,  who, the ICA says,  is one of the country’s “best creative fusion practitioners.” Combining farm-fresh, organic ingredients from Siena farms, and eastern Mediterranean spice blends, Sortun prepared wonderful samples that, Sheila said, “you could die for.”

I’d been to a tasting the previous week, which featured cocktails and commentary by   “Drink”  bartender John Gertsen, (who could write a PhD thesis on the history of the martini) and canapes from Barbara Lynch Gruppo, with Colin Lynch. Both are new establishments founded by restaurateur Barbara Lynch.

Last week’s  tasting  featured Deirdre Heeking and Caleb Barber,  the author and chef, respectively, who own and run  Pane e Salute in Woodstock, Vermont, which the ICA billed as  “a stylish, classic Italian tavern, inspired by and celebrating the regional variations of Italy. Using local ingredients, they present surprising, marvelous, and essential dishes full of the spirit of Italy and the bounty of each season.”

  •  The first sampling was dandellion greens with olive oil and lemon juice.
  • The second sampling was dandellion greens with oil, garlic, and something that made the greens taste  less tart.
  •  The third sample was dandellion greens with olive oil, and topped with pancetta.
  • The fourth was… you guessed it: dandellion greens–this time  with cheese, tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, and white wine, which Caleb cooked as he spoke rapturously about Italian meals designed to lengthen life and  olive groves in the town where he and his wife had often stayed.

I liked the romantic, if  “overbaked”, passages  Deirdre read from the owners’ new book.  Ed was taken with the discussion and enjoyed the food.  Sheila and I  agreed that the price of both the greens and admission,  for members, was right (free). We  liked the  bread, but thought  that the samples all  looked like overcooked spinach and tasted like…um… kale.

Although the handout suggested serving sample #4 as a main course, Sheila said: “Maybe it would be better to  serve it in small batches, along with other things.”  I asked, “Why would you serve it at all?”

 After Deirdre described two luscious-sounding wines that we never got to taste,  we decided to skip the question period and head for the cafe.

Sheila loved her “naan of the day” (an Indian bread served with spiced beef ), Ed his  sandwich (roast turkey with lettuce, tomato, avocad0, mustard aoli and cheese )  and I my Arctic char salad, with lettuce, tomato cumber salad  (each $9.oo before the 10% member discount).

 We were happily watching the sun set over the water,  a tall ship making its way across the harbor, and party cruisers against the beautifully lit Boston skyline when Ed, who had so enjoyed the samples (hey–or should I say “hay”– he loves kale) suddenly remembered that he’s allergic to dandelions–as he found once out the hard way when drinking dandellion tea .   (It can cause diahrrea).  At that point, we hit the rest rooms (just in case),  then  headed home.

None of us had any adverse reactions.  We do wonder at Heekin and Barber’s choice of samples…which were not the greatest promo for what is probably a wonderful restaurant. 

But we’re  looking forward to next week’s tasting with John McClellan, proprietor of  Boston’s award-winning L’Espalier and Sel de la Terre–both of which, the ICA Web site says,  feature  regional ingredients combined with the culinary traditions of France. 

c. Anita M. Harris

More on dandelion greens:

 I checked the Web and found the following , which I’ve lifted from because I wasn’t able to find the info at the US Department of Agriculture Web site.

 According to the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, dandelions are more nutritious than broccoli and spinach, contain more cancer-fighting beta-carotene than carrots, and are a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, lecithin, and dietary fiber.

Dandelions cleanse the bloodstream, liver and increase the production of bile. A natural diuretic they  reduce serum cholesterol and uric acid. They help functioning of the kidneys, pancreas, spleen and stomach, and can be  useful for abscesses, anemia, boils, breast tumors, cirrhosis of the liver, fluid retention, hepatitis, jaundice, age spots and rheumatism.

Dandelion flowers are an excellent source of lecithin, a nutrient that elevates the brain’s acetylcholine, a substance that helps maintain brain function and may play a role in slowing or even stopping the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Lecithin also helps the body maintain good liver function, so it is no surprise that dandelion is widely recommended by herbalists and naturopathic physicians for liver detoxification.

Native Americans used it to treat kidney disease, indigestion, and heartburn; traditional Arabian medicine prescribed it to treat liver disease; and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses dandelion in combination with other medicines to treat hepatitis and upper respiratory tract infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia

However (my ital) dandelion may cause allergy to certain people. People who are allergic to chamomile, yarrow or other related plants should use dandelion with caution. If you are taking lithium, insulin, anti-coagulation, anti-diuretic or blood-sugar controlling agents, consult with your doctor,  first.

New Cambridge Observer is a publication of the Harris Commmunications Group of Cambridge, MA, as is

 “Lorne Beach: Fantastical Rock Formations on Australia’s South Coast”
Photos by Anita M. Harris with annotation by Australian Geologist Avi Olshina
 June 5-September 7, 2009     sea creature1                                    Salem Arts Walk Friday-Sunday June 5-7
                                   Reception  3-5 Sunday June 24
                                              Treasures Over Time
                                                139 Washington St.
                                                       Salem, MA









June 5-September 7, 2009