1999-06-11 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
By Susan Hartenstein

RAA had the distinction of being one of only one hundred arts organizations to be invited to the New York City Board of Education Arts Services Fair. The fair was held on Monday, May 24 in the magnificent setting of the Temple of Dendur in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other such vendors invited by the New York City Board of Education and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs were the Queens Council on the Arts, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The purpose of the fair was to allow representatives to come from schools in all of New York City’s 32 school districts in order to learn about the arts services offered by these vendors. The vendor tables were located along the perimeter of the temple. At RAA’s table were Marina Callaghan, Chris Jorge and Geoff Rawling, who presented information about the programs and services provided by our organization. These include arts education classes for grades pre-K through 12 and staff development in which RAA instructors train public school teachers in the use of the arts and hands-on workshops, so these teachers can then incorporate this into the academic curriculum. So impressed with our presentation and our qualifications were the various arts coordinators from the New York City public schools, that we are already negotiating contracts with certain school districts. The column will keep you informed of the progress of these negotiations

Surf’s up and running. The "wave" shelter at 108 street on Shore Front parkway is being transformed into a work of art right before our very eyes by Esther Grillo and students of Beach Channel High School under her guidance. They are executing the "Surf’s Up" mural Esther designed for this structure. Interior lights which go on with the street lights now illuminate the shelter at night. This vibrantly spirited tribute to surfers and to our ocean community can therefore now be enjoyed 24 hours a day. Truly a piece of community art, it is there to be admired by all, for free. Anyone can get close to it and touch it. Well-wishers come up to thank Esther and the "Beach Channel kids" while they are working. Neighborhood observers of this work-in-progress are able to be "in on" seeing how a mural is put together. In fact, they ask Esther when she will start work on her next "wave" shelter mural. What was once a drab piece of concrete is now producing energy and excitement in residents who can point with pleasure and pride to this exuberant piece of art.

The date for the third RAA tour has been changed from Sunday, June 20 to Sunday, June 27. It will include a "bird-walk" in Fort Tilden and a picnic on the beach. More details next week.

Call to RAA members. We will be including more visuals in this column over the summer months. So please send me photographs of your artwork, or photographs of anything relating to it that you think would be interesting for others to see. Photos must be clear for proper reproduction in the newspaper. Include explanatory notes. If you would like, send sketches or copies of sketches. Mail photos, etc. to the RAA office at 260 Beach 116 street. This is a great way to get exposure as an artist.

FUNdamental. FUNtastic. FUN-omenal. This is the FUNal notification. I think I have now exhausted all the nearly palatable possibilities of letting you know that this FUNday (oops, one more) is the RAA Building FUNd Benefit FUNraiser. (It’s habit-forming) If you wish to have your artwork decorating the walls of Building T-149, bring them to T-149 at 11am on Sunday. Bring one or two pieces. Last year this member display added something very special to the event. Denis Macrae will be presenting a slide show of member artworks. If you have slides of your work, bring them Sunday 11am. Mark the slide with your name and an "X" in the lower left corner.

Miss that June 6 deadline to buy tickets? Okay, we forgive you. In fact we forgive you so much, you can still call Marina Callaghan to see if she has tickets left. And if you can’t come, we’ll forgive you like crazy if you still send us a donation. Not only will we forgive you, we’ll love you forever. You will also be assured of being remembered with great kindness in the RAA last will and testament. Unfortunately, I myself will be unable to attend. Medium Rayah and I share the same pair of dancing shoes and since she is going, I must stay home. However, I will be there in spirit (thanks to the Madam) and Rayah will be there with crystal bells on.

So until next week, may the Rayah be with you.


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