2001-05-05 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio-Rockaway Artists Alliance

by Susan Hartenstein
From The Artists Studio-Rockaway Artists Alliance by Susan Hartenstein

Art Frenzy is a weekend festival celebrating the arts, which will take place from May 17 – 20 in Long Island City, Astoria and Sunnyside. The cultural scene of New York City is changing. No longer is Manhattan considered the only important center for creating and showcasing the arts. Williamsburg, Long Island City, Rockaway. Art communities and galleries are being established in many areas of the boroughs. Next year Rockaway is the projected site of this festival.

Art Frenzy is designed so visitors from all over the city and the world can easily access the wealth of museums, galleries, artists’ studios, outdoor performances, literary art events, children’s mural projects and more in western Queens. The center of the Frenzy will be Court Square Park. Geoff Rawling, president of the Rockaway Artists Alliance, will conduct a mural project with children at the park. RAA will have a table close to this event. Available at Court Square Park will be programs detailing the festival. In addition, this will be the place to meet members of arts, business and high technology groups of western Queens. The events and attractions scheduled (subject to change) include a guided tour at the American Museum of the Moving Image; a celebration of Celtic art, music and culture in Long Island City; a film festival at Kaufman Astoria Studios; an exhibition of sculptures from four Modern Art Foundry sculptors; and much more of the visual, literary and performance arts. Visitors will be able to experience the local shops and restaurants of this rich, ethnically diverse area.

For a schedule of events and more information log onto www.artfrenzy.net or contact the Queens Council on the Arts (QCA.) Art Frenzy is being presented by QCA with the assistance of the Long Island City Business Development Corporation and the Queens Borough President, the honorable Claire Shulman.

"Movies by Moonlight " returns! RAA’s wildly popular free outdoor summer movie festival takes place this year on Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9 at 8:30 p.m. in Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area. Under the stars, caressed by the soft, cool breezes flowing from the bay and ocean, audiences will see….Just whetting your appetite for now. More details in coming weeks, but mark your calendar immediately. For information about RAA events, call RAA or email RockArt116@aol.com.

Rockaway Artists Alliance makes art available to all segments of the community. Never was this fact more eloquently demonstrated than this past weekend at Fort Tilden. On Saturday, in sTudio-6, a workshop on the art of assemblage was being taught by Donnarae Aiello to eight young men from the Saint John’s Home for Boys. Simultaneously, in building T-7, a silkscreen monotype printmaking workshop was underway for adults of all ages and levels of artistic experience. A weekly adult drawing class, taught by Aaron Zeidman, took place in T-7 at the same time. Sunday, Geoff Rawling gave the last in his series of oil painting classes, also for a diverse group of adults. For the participants in Roni Henning’s fascinating monotype workshop and for the boys, these were exciting and previously unexplored means of self-expression and creativity. All came away wanting more. A major component of the "Out of Towners" exhibition is a series of workshops, given by exhibition artists, designed to make underserved segments of the local population aware of the expressive and professional potential of the arts. Saturday’s class succeeded beyond expectations. Artist/instructor Donnarae Aiello presented the young men with a wide range of materials and possibilities with which to create Joseph Cornell-type assemblage boxes – an art form they hadn’t seen before. This new medium set their natural creativity ablaze. They came up with ever more inventive ideas. They exchanged ideas and materials. Their work expressed longing, mourning, whimsy and more. Their questions were incisive. Their enthusiasm was infectious. Aiello, whose volunteerism and sense of community are to be applauded, was, herself, impressed by how open the youngsters were to new experiences in art. She made them aware of the connection between art and nature. She opened up worlds of possibilities to them and was in turn rewarded with the sense of giving something positive to these young lives. Indeed, the participants wish to return to take part in RAA’s youth art show in June. RAA looks forward to welcoming them back.

RAA encourages all to join the community of art – a community full of endless possibilities.

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