1999-05-29 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
by Susan Hartenstein

Were you a beautiful baby? Did you have a face only a mother could love? Either way RAA loves you. Not only that. We want a photograph of your babiness for our "Name That Baby Artist Contest" at our June 13 "funraiser." An ingeniously conceived, baby-related prize will go to the person who correctly identifies the greatest number of pre-RAA budding artists. Did Geoff Rawling have a beard even at three years of age? Is that a neo-natal John Grillo holding a roll of Fuji in his little fist? Age of child can be up to five years. You may drop your photograph (not irreplaceable please) in Eileen Bledsoe’s mailbox at 425 Beach 121 street, or at her office at Allstate Insurance, 112-30 Beach Channel drive. All photos will be returned.

Want to make Marina Callaghan’s life and yours a little easier? Get that check in as soon as possible for your dinner/dance ticket donation. You’ll be assured of a place at the event, you’ll have it off your desk and planning the event will be simpler for Marina. Minimum donation is $30. Remember, this will be a fun event, but at its core is a loftier purpose. That is, to raise funds to realize a common dream – a comprehensive arts center serving Rockaway and environs. So, to all who love the arts and our community, even if you can’t attend, we’d still appreciate a donation of at least $30 so we can all come together in the future to celebrate a dream come true. We’ve already accomplished some first steps. Now lets continue towards our common goal.

Photographer Arnold Kessler is participating in the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, this Memorial Day weekend. This event covers a huge area and provides a perfect opportunity to see a wide variety of art from a large number of artists. Arnie’s work will be located at University place between East 8 and East 9 streets.

Rockaway native Kate Judge is a versatile filmmaker. She has produced, written and directed short films, longer forms, commercials, public service spots and music videos. She has done so for such companies as ABC Sports, Warner Brothers and Polygram Records. Her work has been chosen to appear at such venues as the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, the Queens Museum of Art, the Chicago Film Festival and the Long Island Film Festival, winning awards at the latter two. Interestingly, Kate’s work has been influenced more by still photography and paintings than by film. A graduate of Brooklyn College in film production, Kate credits her filmmaker sister, Julia, for inspiring her to choose this particular art form to express her creative sensibilities. Judge also acknowledges the generous emotional and artistic support of RAA for giving her the confidence to pursue this profession.

At RAA’s last general meeting, Judge showed various of her works. "New Year’s Day" and "Iceman" are both experimental shorts. The latter is a work-in-progress. Shorts are cheaper to produce and allow Kate the freedom to experiment, thus refining her craft. The award-winning "New Year’s Day", a poetic look at the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, captures the joy and pathos of the people and event. To accomplish this, Judge varied frame rates, recorded ambient sounds and created a voyeur’s voice over.

"Iceman" is a haunting, disturbing story of tenement dwellers, inspired by a tenement Kate grew up near in Rockaway. "Celebrate Brooklyn" is a sharply conceived and edited promotional video Kate directed for Brooklyn Information and Culture which brilliantly captures the energy and flavor of the annual Performing Arts Festival in Prospect Park. Judge is presently seeking grant money to complete her latest short film project, "Josephine". Weaving together Irish folklore, a child’s resilience and the spirit of flight, this uplifting work is about transcending tragedy and turning it into personal triumph. It is based on her mother’s childhood and will be filmed in Rockaway. The goal here of Judge and her long time collaborator, Michael Falasco, is to make a compelling film which reaches into the deepest memories of its viewer, evoking a spirit common to us all. Kate would also love to do a promotional film capturing the essence and flavor of her native Rockaway, where she once again lives today. Anyone out there with grant money interested in funding either of these two projects?

See you next week.




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