2000-01-22 / Columnists

From the Artists Studio...by Susan Hartenstein

From The Artists Studio


Rockaway Artists Alliance

Henry Parker with his wall of paintings at Hammel Senior Center.



Henry Parker with his portrait "Our Great President." Henry and Abraham Lincoln share the same birthday (different century).

By Susan Hartenstein

Plans are being developed for the Rockaway Artists Alliance to host a month-long arts celebration to take place in Gateway National Recreation Area. From October1 to October 31, RAA artists and invited artists from other areas of Queens will exhibit paintings, sculpture, photography and mixed media. Movies will be shown. Planned as well is the use of outdoor space for creating sculptures and moveable art. Outdoor workshops would be held either in the park or on the beach. Theatrical performances by the Rockaway Theatre Company will take place in the Post Theater, which is located next to RAA’s buildings T-6 and T-7. Live concerts and performances are likely. As the culmination to RAA participation in this collaborative Queens Millennium Festival, we will invite all to our always entertaining and widely attended annual Halloween Extravaganza, October 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. in Building 1 at Fort Tilden.

The Queens Millennium Festival, also known as Mostly Millennium, is an initiative coming out of Borough President Claire Shulman’s office. It is a Queens-wide event for the year 2000. The festival will bring the varied artists of Queens together in a collaborative effort celebrating the diversity and wealth of arts in our borough. Each month a different arts group will host the activities. Mostly Millennium is headed by historian Dr. Stanley Cogen and coordinated by Denise Jaklitsch of the Queens Council on the Arts. More details on the event will appear in this column as they develop. If you are interested in participating, mail or bring your proposal to the RAA office at 260 Beach 116 street. Remember that we also have an e-mail address: rockart116@aol.com. We are looking for large pieces and large installations because we have such large spaces at Fort Tilden. However, please submit proposals for whatever you feel will be of interest, large or small. This includes films, performance art, workshops, etc. Participation is not limited to RAA members. The deadline for proposals is August 31.

This year’s Outsider Arts Fair will take place the weekend of January 28, 29 and 30 in the Puck Building, corner of Lafayette and Houston streets. Hours are Friday 12 noon to 8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $12. The fair boasts an astonishing array of different styles from artists outside the artistic mainstream. Very popular in recent years, this class of art includes work of the untutored, which involves among others, those from disadvantaged sectors of society—disadvantaged economically, emotionally and socially. Art brut is a term the French use. Thirty-four international dealers are involved in the fair. Saturday, January 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon there will be a series of symposia on this exhibit. Run by the Museum of American Folk Art, the series will take place at New York University’s Barney Building at 34 Stuyvesant Street in room 105. The fee is $35 for non-members and $30 for members. A preview of the exhibit to benefit the museum takes place Thursday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Admission is $75.

"Drawing from Life", a class taught by RAA’s Geoff Rawling at Fort Tilden on January 15, was a very successful event, with approximately twenty people attending. This class was a collaboration with Gateway National Recreation Area and is only the first of such art classes to be given at Fort Tilden. Watch this column for news of future ones.

As we all know, artists are special creatures whose lungs should breathe in only the rarified atmosphere of aesthetics and whose minds should never be consumed by the crass concerns of the financial. So I understand that some of you RAA members have neglected to pay your dues for Y2K. After all, you have art to think about and that's far more important. Allow me, then, this gentle reminder that dues are due. Send them to Martha Killian ASAP and then you won’t have to think about that nasty thing called money for a whole year.

Check out the art we’ve included with this week’s column. Henry Parker is one of Geoff Rawling’s most enthusiastic students at the Hammel Senior Center. For Henry, art is an act of pure, unadulterated joy. More of us should be filled with that innocent, child-like pleasure in what we do. Great job, Henry!

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