From The Artists Studio
By Susan Hartenstein
BYOD – Bring Your Own Drum. This Saturday at Fort Tilden, percussionist Ira Weitz plays a variety of drums, etc. and conducts an open workshop for all who wish to bang, clink and hock to their heart’s content. "Hockers" may bring their own instruments. Weitz will also accompany a troupe of belly dancers. If you wish to carefully observe the latter and then try it on your own, be sure to BYOB – Bring Your Own Belly. This is only one of the free special performance events scheduled for Saturday from 1-5:20 p.m. in Fort Tilden. All of the day’s events take place outdoors, weather permitting. All are part of the Rockaway Artists Alliance ARTSPLASH 2001 celebration of the arts taking place this month and through November 11. Two other live events are scheduled for Saturday. One brings a literary magazine to life. The other brings art to a formidable military installation.
Aaron Zeidman, a former associate editor of The Wave, is the editor and publisher of Tinker Magazine, which features artwork as well as literary pieces and is as much a concept as it is a journal. In existence for some three years, Tinker’s goal is to foster communication among artists, writers and an interested audience. An important aspect of Tinker is the art and poetry shows that tour the regions with which it communicates, either through writers or advertisers. Tinker started in the Hudson Valley, moved to Rockaway and returned upstate. Referred to as "live magazines," these shows present some of the magazine’s artwork, in addition to the poetry in the publication. Often the event includes music. A general feeling of well-being and excitement is the desired result. The October 13 live magazine at Fort Tilden will incorporate the diverse artwork surrounding it – that is, the work in ARTSPLASH 2001. Among the writers reading their work are local poets, as well as Zeidman himself and his wife and Tinker partner, Zena Gurbo. Zeidman and Gurbo are talented visual artists and writers. The creation of this bright, exciting young couple in their 20’s, Tinker Magazine is innovative, ever-expanding and always looking to broaden its sensibilities. The latest issue of Tinker, probably the best produced to date, is visually gorgeous and intellectually stimulating. Copies will be available on Saturday.
At 5 p.m. Radek Szczesny will present a 20-minute video projected on the side of Battery Harris East, one of the former big gun installations in Fort Tilden. Created specifically for this setting, the presentation incorporates the ambient sounds and physicality specific to this unique site. Szczesny was born in Poland and considers himself primarily a painter. He is interested in the tension between the visual and textual modes of perception and in what he calls "the subtle residue of human activity within a familiar place."
All these events will be presented outdoors, weather permitting. Tinker and the percussion work shop/performance will take place on the new stage between the two RAA gallery buildings. The former set of the Broadway play "Ring ‘Round the Moon," this cage-like structure is, in itself, a work of art.
Approximately 400 visitors attended the opening reception and live music, dance and poetry events of last weekend. The consensus among the attendees was that this was an incredible gathering of talent and entertainment, to compare favorably with any one would see around this city. From artists and art lovers alike, one heard kudos for the variety and high caliber of visual and performing arts presented and for the quality of presentation achieved by the Rockaway Artists Alliance under the extraordinary leadership of Geoff Rawling.
The National Parks Service is running a photo contest. If you have taken any photographs of any of the national parks in 2001 that you think are winners, you should enter them by January 15, 2002 in the National Parks Pass Experience Your America Photo Contest. Grand Prize includes having your winning photo featured on the 2003 National Parks Pass. For further information about prizes and entry rules, you may log onto www.kodak.com or contact the administration at Fort Tilden.
October 20 the MS/PS 43 African Step Ensemble will perform as part of ARTSPLASH 2001. More on this event next week. For information, call RAA or email them at RockArt116@aol.com
Enjoy this wonderful Fall weather and love each other very much.