Nave opens its second annual Somerville Toy Camera Festival

Michelle Bates

Girl (from the Exquisite Decay series)

The Nave Gallery in Teele Square opened its second annual Somerville Toy Camera Festival this weekend and invited artists and spectators to an opening reception Sunday afternoon. Guests were treated to a talk by photographer and Nave featured artist Michelle Bates, who explained the nature of the artform — how people create with low-tech, weightless, youthful, and simple toys. “They relate to how we see the world,” she said. Bates signed her book, “Plastic Cameras: Toying With Creativity,” and displayed work she made using Diana and Holga toy cameras. Other artists in the festival include Isa Leshko, who was a juror last year, David Lykes Keenan of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Sharon O’Callaghan Shero of Dallas. Nave Gallery and Nave Annex Gallery director Susan Berstler said she appreciates how new technology brings artists back to old ways. “The more people go digital, the more artists go to film,” she said. “They don’t want to do what everyone else is doing.” Besides the Nave and the new Nave Annex, the festival is showing toy camera works at the Washington Street Art Center, the Somerville Museum, and at the Brickbottom Artists Association through June 29.

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