1999-12-11 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance

By Susan Hartenstein

Just down the block from the Seaside library, a short walk up from Stella Maris High School lies a magical place—Rosie’s Books and Gifts Store. On Rockaway Beach boulevard between 114-115 streets, one finds a treasure trove of surprises to delight and amaze. Think you have to travel to Manhattan to find special gifts for the holidays at reasonable prices? Think Rockaway doesn’t have a resource for unusual books, new and old? Think again. Walk into Rosie’s. Are you looking for something to keep your child entertained for hours? Rosie has an unbelievable variety of paper doll books including Christian Dior—Fashion Review Paper Dolls and Favorite African-American Movie Stars. She has teachers’ books that can also be used by parents, full of wonderful activity ideas for children. Do you or does someone you know love arts or crafts? Look no further than Rosie’s for that out-of-the-ordinary gift. Here you will find books of Celtic design patterns, stained glass patterns, books like Erte Graphics and Paul Gaugin’s Tahitian Journal. "I try to be a little different," says Rosie. What an understatement!

Here you will also discover a set of ceramic jazz band musicians, a Winnie the Pooh musical spinning top, classic boxing cards, gorgeous paper fans, old postcards such as one of a Thomas Nast illustration and one of a Louis Tiffany stained glass landscape window, a full line of health and fitness books, books of sheet music, CD’s, dreidels, antiques, collector pieces gathered from far and wide such as charming little bottles, unusual children’s toys, costumes, collector dolls, Austrian crystal jewelry, Victorian masks which are themselves works of art, and on and on and on. I’m sorry computer—I know this was a run-on sentence, but anything less wouldn’t do justice to this incredible store.

Wonderland begins even before you walk through the door. Rosie’s daughter, Corinna, designed the holiday display window with her own special flair for the dramatic and her unique sense of humor. Enlivening the store’s entrance is a huge, bright-colored clown painted by RAA’s Geoff Rawling. And then there’s Rosie herself. She loves Rockaway with a passion and supports it with all her heart. She lives here and has her business here because she believes in its people and its future. No one "talks up" Rockaway more than this lady. She believes that the area below 116 street gets a "bad rap"—that it is filled with good people who work as hard as anyone to support the entire peninsula. Rosie has chosen to live in this section because she cares about it so. She believes that all of us must work to help build all of Rockaway. Want to discover a world you never knew existed in Rockaway—a world full of fun and surprises? Make a visit to Rosie’s. I’ll bet it won’t be your last.

Thank you to the Saint Camillus Home School Association, specifically to Barbara Buffolino and Loretta Maher, for inviting RAA to participate in last weekend’s holiday boutique. We were made to feel very welcome. Thank you also to the RAA members who entered their work and especially to those members who sat at our table. Fourteen artists displayed 50 varied and beautiful works, in addition to smaller prints and cards, making this a highly successful show on many levels. The boutique presented a lovely variety of crafts, including hand-made items, such as delicate crystal ornaments, various kinds of dolls and patterned dishes. We look forward to next year’s event.

Just in case you haven’t been reading this column for the past few weeks (and why haven’t you?) allow me to give you the final rundown of our super-duper, handy-dandy, splashy-yet-classy final general meeting of this century. Monday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Building T-149 (with heating) we will have: RAA’s Fifth Annual Exhibition (chock-full of art), elections, our holiday party, a raffle of artwork (let me know if you wish to enter your work), a 50/50 raffle, a recycled gift exchange (think how lucky our members of the Jewish persuasion are—they have a place to bring those less-than-inspiring Chanukah presents), Vladimir Rozenshtein’s demo/lecture on stencil art, advisory board members and the intelligent and stimulating company of your fellow artists and art lovers. (Oh, those run-on sentences.) Please come and enjoy a great evening.

RAA’s next tour will take place at P.S. 1 Contemporary Arts Center on Sunday, December 19. The tour will meet at 12 noon in the lobby. It coincides with the opening reception for an exhibit of Juan Sanchez paintings and special projects by various artists. Among the other works on display are 1940’s photographs by Rudy Burckhardt. No donation is necessary to RAA. However, admission to P.S. 1 is a suggested donation of $5. If you require carpooling, call tour director Denis Macrae.

Enjoy! See you back here next week!







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