2000-08-12 / Columnists

From the Artists Studio...by Susan Hartenstein

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
By Susan Hartenstein

…"Only the Shadow Knows" is the title of the play written and acted by Rockaway children to be performed Saturday, August 19 at 2 p.m. in the Post Theater (T-4) in Fort Tilden. Admission is free, but donations to the theater will gladly be accepted. Two episodes ago this column revealed that RAA and the Rockaway Theatre Company, in conjunction with Gateway National Recreation Area, were teaching a theater workshop for children in the Post Theater. The enthusiastic youngsters chose characters then wrote a play around them, painted the backdrop and built the set. Directed by John Gilleece and Geoff Rawling with able assistance from RTC’s Apryl Forte, Sandra Overstreet and Karen O’Shea, each Saturday of the workshop the children have been learning the fundamentals of acting and stagecraft including movement, vocal skills and stage design. All this in the beautiful setting of this unique national park. August 19 the public will get the chance to see the results of this fun learning experience.

Three calls are out to all RAA artists:

  • Beach 129 Street Fair -- Vendors are wanted for the Beach 129 Street Fair on August 20 from 12 to 9 p.m. If you are interested, call the RAA office for information and ask for Geoff. RAA will have an information table at the fair for those who wish to learn more about this organization. If you would like to help man the table, let us know.
  • Rockaway Viking Sail 2000 -- Artists are invited to set up easels and paint or display work at Rockaway Viking Sail 2000, Sunday, September 3.
  • Queens Center Mall Show – The Rockaway Artists Alliance is presenting a member exhibit in this huge space in the month of September. Deadline for submission is August 31. More information will appear in later columns.

Photographs by John Grillo and Kate Judge of RAA’s Camp kidsmART program are now part of the exhibit of children’s art on display at Citibank in the Waldbaum’s shopping area on Beach Channel drive and 113 street. These talented photographers captured the very special feel and fun of this unique program. Even if you have already seen this charming children’s art exhibit and even if you had no connection to the camp, go see these wonderful photographs. They are well worth the visit.

RAA’s Geoff Rawling and Louanne Arnheiter have each created a mask for The Mask Project, a unique combination of artistry and philanthropy. New York’s gallery opening for the exotic and unusual masks made for this project by artists, celebrities, athletes and political and business leaders will be held at the Works Gallery, 1250 Madison avenue (at 90 street), Manhattan, on Wednesday, August 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. In the past, people who have participated include Robin Williams, Katie Couric, Vida Blue and Senator John Glenn.

Proceeds from the Mask Project will benefit the hospice and home care programs of Catholic Health Services of Long Island. Last year these programs provided more than $400,000 in charity care. The masks will be on display in galleries and malls during the summer and fall. October 15 a gala auction will be held. Masks may also be purchased online.

Rawling’s mask is entitled "A Tribute to Pablo." "This being the new century," comments the artist, "it is a fitting tribute to the dominant artist of the last one." Arnheiter is an artist and art teacher. "Living in Rockaway…I was naturally inspired to create an undersea mask…The ocean realm represents calm and tranquility, wellness if you like, in contrast to the stress of city life."

For more information about these artists, their masks and the Mask Project log onto


Thanks to all who participated in Shack Attack – the revitalization of the lifeguard shack on 117 street and the boardwalk. They include 135 children and adults and a handful of "serious workers" who stayed all day and know who they are. Since it would be difficult to name everyone who contributed to this effort, allow me to express gratitude to those who were not mentioned in a previous column. Thanks to: Queens Council on the Arts for sponsoring the event; the terrific band Rooftop Life for providing entertainment; the Parks Department for helping to coordinate the event.

So until next we meet, stay cool, stay dry and most of all – enjoy.


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