2000-09-30 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

By Susan Hartenstein

From The Artists Studio
Rockaway Artists Alliance

RAA wishes a very happy and healthy New Year to our Jewish members and friends. This New Year of 5761 marks a beginning of sorts for this organization as well. For the first time, a major RAA exhibition will be mounted utilizing RAA’s buildings T-6 (sTudio-6) and T-7 and other areas of Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area. For the first time the public, artists, government and business will have a glimpse of the full potential of an arts center in Rockaway. As part of the Queens Millennium Festival 2000, RAA’s October Millennium Festival will draw leaders from all over the city to this beautiful peninsula to see some of the best it has to offer them. The event will also allow us to inform them how they can best fulfill our needs in return. Artists from other parts of Queens and the world are placing their work in Fort Tilden and bringing their audiences along with them.

Since the schedule for the Queens Millennium Festival was set long in advance, October was chosen for RAA long before it was realized the conflicts involved with the religious holidays and certain of our arts events. Unfortunately therefore, some of our supporters will be unable to participate in those events. However, much of the artwork will be available for viewing at other times. Certain of the sculpture will be on permanent exhibit. In addition, the Rockaway Arts Center is a vision not only for the present, but also for the future. It is a vision for all our citizens. The exhibitions, workshops, theater and music events that will be part of the festival are a preview of more that is to come. The center will grow and further serve the needs of an underserved population – a continuing goal of the Rockaway Artists Alliance and the Rockaway Theatre Company. We welcome you. Come share the excitement.

First week of RAA Millennium Festival events: (Unless otherwise specified, all events are at Fort Tilden – look for signs upon entering fort)

  • Saturday, September 30 - 12 noon -- Labyrinth opening. This special event is a centering experience for body, mind and spirit.
  • Sunday, October 1 – 1 to 4 p.m. - sTudio 6 – Opening reception for the Millennium Festival art exhibitions in sTudio 6 and T-7 - sponsored by Roxbury Barn.

Gallery hours for sTudio 6 and T-7: Friday 7-10 p.m.; Saturday 12-5 p.m., 7-10 p.m.; Sunday 1-4 p.m. And by appointment. Exhibitions run from October 1 through November 12.

  • Saturday, October 7 – noon to 1 p.m. – 105 street and Shore Front parkway – Ribbon cutting ceremony for Esther Grillo’s "The Deep" – the wave shelter mural has created much excitement over the summer as residents and visitors alike watched this work of art progress. Yet a third such mural that Grillo has done to enhance the natural beauty of Rockaway. Come celebrate our community. Among the dignitaries scheduled to attend are Parks Commissioner Henry Stern.
  • Saturday, October 7 – 8 p.m. – Spoken word event/Poetry Slam – sponsored by Queens Council on the Arts.
  • Sunday, October 8 – 1 to 3 p.m. – sTudio 6 – Mask making workshop.

All these events are free of charge.

Throughout October and beyond 50 artists will display works in and around sTudio and T-7. An outdoor sculpture walk will grace the "back fort", our own bird and wildlife sanctuary. Visual artists as well as actors, poets and dancers will present special events, programs and workshops. Watch this column for further information over the next weeks. Contact the RAA office with questions and comments.

RAA’s Queens Millennium Festival is presented in conjunction with Gateway National Recreation Area, The Rockaway Theatre Company, The Queens Historical Society, Queens Council on the Arts, The Queens Museum of Art and the Borough President’s Office. The Rockaway Artists Alliance thanks them all.

Special thanks yet again to the Gateway Maintenance Department, especially Charlie and Henry, for their monumental work in our new sculpture garden behind T-7.

The Rockaway Theatre Company presents the musical hit "Once Upon a Mattress" at the Post Theater, Fort Tilden. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays from October 6 through October 28 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, October 15 and 22 at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors. Director Mario Martone last directed the hit "Rumors" for RTC. A little birdie of Samarkand informs me that a tall bespectacled artist from RAA has flown over the parking lot to perch on the "Mattress" stage. Singing and dancing her little heart out, she expects to see all her artist friends come to see this theatrical event.

Despite a bit of dampness, last weekend’s RMAC Festival was a lot of fun. RAA was pleased by the interest shown in its information table and by the usual happy reaction of adults of all ages to Geoff Rawling’s kids mural. We enjoyed working in association with RMAC in our joint fence show. Particular thanks to John Musumeci and to the always gracious Barbara Eisenstadt. RTC entertained all with its wonderful "Honeymooners" sketch and the charming RTC/RAA children’s play "Only the Shadow Knows."

Spend autumn in Rockaway enjoying the gorgeous colors in its garden of arts.

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