The Gallery at University Lutheran Church
66 Winthrop Street Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 876-3256

Communal Source, digital photo, Canon EOS 40 D, 5” x 7”. Used by permission of the artist. All rights reserved.

Proud of Coming Home: With Love

Aileen Dashurova

July 12 - August 30, 2014

Gallery Hours

Monday-Thursday, 10 am - 4 pm

Opening Reception

Saturday, July 12, 2014, 5-8 pm

Artist’s Statement

My grandfather, Francesco Cristiano, left Santa Caterina Albanese, Calabria, Italy when he was sixteen years old on a trip with his father. Once in the United States, New Jersey, he refused to go home. Eventually he left New Jersey and the family that he created there (my mother) to start yet another new life in California. He returned to New Jersey when I was ten years old to make peace with his children and meet his grandchildren. After his death, my mother began a journey of discovery that brought her home, to Santa Caterina Albanese.

These photos were taken in Santa Caterina Albanese during the traditional week in August when family members return home to celebrate; Festeggia Emigranti, August 2008. It was my sister’s first trip to meet our family and my mother's last trip to go home.

My grandfather, the oldest of the children, never returned home to Santa Caterina Albanese once he left. He stopped corresponding to the village in 1954. My mother and her sister, Rose, brought the Spirit and Legacy of my Grandfather home in 1987. I followed in 2007, then in 2008 with my sister and mother. In 2012 my daughters brought me home and it felt to all of us during that trip that the broken circle had been healed; my great grandfather, Giuseppe Cristiano, had his family back home together again, with Love.

The due date for my grandson is November 10, 2014, and I look forward to bringing him home…

Aileen Dashurova
Westford, Massachusetts, 2014