1999-11-27 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance

"Swing Club", 1999, by David Remfry. Watercolors on paper, 27x60 inches.

Elegant transition--one of our members awakening upon the morning of his 50th birthday.

By Susan Hartenstein

Catch if you can the paintings and drawings of David Remfry at the Neuhoff Gallery. He catches a cast of characters in the act—partying, dancing, moving, posing, strutting their stuff. Remfry gives us characters in motion even when standing still, theatrical even in their more intimate moments. Self-conscious and self-involved, they eye the viewer perhaps as reflections of themselves. The paintings and drawings demand your eye, as do the characters. They are full of energy, as are the characters. Most are watercolors, the others, graphite or graphite and wash. Remfry possesses an exuberant command of the watercolor medium. The paint is frequently thick, rich and encrusted. The paper is saturated "to the max", layer upon layer without losing vibrancy. Paints melt into and over each other. Remfry’s dramatic compositions, figures frequently at a tilt, are woven together with the strength and movement of triangles and diagonals—a 90’s hyped-up Degas. The viewer’s eye rushes from figure to figure, painting to painting. Frequently, the watercolors contain visible graphite lines which pull and direct the eye. "Sleepless City" runs until December 4 at the Neuhoff Gallery, 41 East 57 street, fourth floor. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Remember that submission of artworks for RAA’s next exhibition takes place Sunday, November 28 and Wednesday, December 1 between 6 and 9 p.m. at 134-08 Cronston avenue. Bring as many as four pieces for jurying. If these times are impossible for you or if you have any questions, I encourage you to contact me at home or at the RAA office. The exhibit will take place on Saturday and Sunday, December 4 and 5 in Springman Hall, Saint Camillus Church, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. It will be part of the Saint Camillus Home School Association’s holiday boutique. This fundraising arts and crafts sale will include such items as porcelain dolls and home decorations. Theme baskets will be raffled off. Santa Claus is even taking time off from his busy gift-wrapping schedule to visit Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. I hear through the grapevine that the gentleman is an art connoisseur and is looking for a few gorgeous paintings and prints to relieve the monotony attacking his workshop. To Santa and to all—Come the fourth and fifth and find what you are looking for.

Rates for advertising in RAA’s newsletter have changed. To advertise for one year (10 issues) the rate is $95 for non-members, $85 for members. For a half year ( five issues) the rate is $50 for non-members, $40 for members. Karen McCallion has done an extraordinary job designing and executing our newsletter’s new format. It is eye-catching, visually pleasing and very informative. Contact Karen, directly or through the office, if you wish to place your business card sized ad.

Congratulations to RMAC for their splendid exhibit at Saint Rose of Lima Church. The show displayed a consistently high standard of quality. It was varied in subject, style and medium. I am proud to say that contributing to the quality were the works of several RAA members. Watercolors from the Brooklyn Watercolor Society also graced the show. Indeed, I found the watercolors in the show to be fresh, clear and beautiful. Several works by artists with whom I was not familiar caught my attention. F. Lisa Hammick’s pastel, "Indian Corn with Gourd", breathes with life, richness and warmth. Unusual and almost expressionistic is the marvelous ink drawing, "Figure Skating", by Camela La Gamba Bode. "Rich Fantasy Life" is a creative, bold acrylic by Terry Elroy. I was quite pleased to see solar plate prints by RAA’s Christian Le Gars. Although a newer medium to Le Gars than watercolor, these works display why he is such a fine artist. More regarding this artist and this exciting new medium in a later column. To Arlene Cornell and Steve Yaeger, curators of this exhibit—Well done.

As promised, more details on RAA’s December 13 general meeting. It will be a millennium-ending celebration of our members, our supportive public and the extraordinary accomplishments of both over the last five years. The meeting will be held in Fort Tilden where RAA is, even as we speak, renovating the buildings which will become Rockaway’s arts center. Our fifth anniversary exhibition will be held this night. Please bring your artwork. We wish RAA’s creativity to fill the hall. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, a recycled gift exchange and refreshments to celebrate the holidays. In addition—a guest speaker to be revealed next column. Allow me simply to say—you won’t want to miss this intriguing, informative artist.

Allow me also, in parting, to welcome Michael Tubridy into "Club 50". As readers can see from the accompanying photo, he wears his years well. Congratulations, Michael.



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