2002-04-27 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio by Susan Hartenstein

Rockaway Artists Alliance

Aptly titled, "The Essence of Light," is the stunning exhibition of stained glass and other handmade original art objects at RAA's sTudio 6 Gallery in Fort Tilden. Very different from any show you've seen at this venue, it explores the exquisite nature of light as it passes through glass of different textures, densities and patterns, illuminating the radiance of color. The exhibition features the work of renowned master glassman Patrick Clark, George Marian, Anne Hourigan, Raphael Diaz and apprentice artist Christopher Dyson, all of whom work in or have worked in Mr. Clark's studio, and invited artists Penelope Atheras, Marszena Fiszer and Robbie and Theresa Ingui.

"Painting with glass" is how stained glass artist George Marian describes his art form. Selecting just the right pieces of glass with just the right properties is an art in itself. Patrick Clark has several pieces in the show. "Metropolitan Rome" is an extraordinary work of art and craftsmanship that uses layers of transparent glass to express subtleties of form and color and richness of texture, much as a watercolorist uses layers of transparent paint, but with the added property of the physical dimensionality of slabs of glass. In Clark's "Bird of Paradise," the pieces of glass have been chosen and placed so that the work sings with the color and life of the magnificent flower. Japanese-inspired diagonal streaks of rain run counterpoint to oppositely diagonaled flower parts. All are in dynamic contrast to horizontal and vertical trunks, solder and frame. For part of his "Stoned Garden," George Marian chose fractured glass, a kind of glass matrix, containing chips of green glass, to symbolize springtime. In another of his exquisite works, "Dew Flowers," a special glass containing "bubbles" creates the image of dewdrops on flowers. "My Light on Manhattan" by Christopher Dyson expresses the beauty and strength of the skyline we once knew. Raphael Diaz' mirrors dance with glass mosaic. Marszena Fiszer's "Flower Tree' is a bold circle of design and color. Penelope Atheras' works, which include "Geisha" and "Ballerina" are beautiful, delicate and charming. "Cloverflower" by Anne Hourigan is a flow of satiny glass. The neon tube sculptures of Rob and Theresa Ingui flow, spiral, twist, turn and dart through space.

"The Essence of Light is a very special exhibition that runs through May 11. Gallery hours are Saturdays 12-5 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m. Patrick Clark and his studio are renowned and highly sought after renovators of stained glass and creators of original glass art. Clark's work can be seen in venues that include St. Patrick's Cathedral and private homes. A special reception featuring descriptive interpretation by the artists will be held at the gallery on Thursday, May 2 from 7-8:30 p.m. Champagne and scones will be served. Admission is free to exhibit and reception.

Art Frenzy will be here before you know it! Art Frenzy is a huge weekend celebration of the arts to be held in Fort Tilden on June 8 and 9. It is sponsored by the Queens Council on the Arts and will be hosted by Rockaway arts groups including RAA. RAA's participation in Art Frenzy includes 3 visual art exhibitions, a variety of live performances on our outdoor stage, a costumed children's parade, screenings of avant garde films,

open studio tours, outdoor sculpture, workshops and more. sTudio 6 and sTudio 7 will be the sites of the visual art exhibits – a juried exhibition, an exhibition of the works of invited artists and "The Best of Remembering," gleaned from the much-praised "Remembering." These shows will run from May 25-June 23. "From the Artist's Studio" will bring you more information about this very special event in the coming weeks. So don't go away.

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