2002-09-07 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

By Susan Hartenstein
Rockaway Artists Alliance

This column often speaks about the cultural diversity of the borough of Queens. Rockaway Artists Alliance exhibitions and special events reap the benefits of this diversity by presenting artists from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Queens Council on the Arts’ Art Frenzy at Fort Tilden featured a "rainbow" of ethnicities. RAA’s ARTSPLASH festivals have and will tap from this multiculturalism. It may interest you to know that Queens is the most culturally diverse county in the nation. More than 50 percent of this borough’s households are headed by people born outside this country. Almost 160 languages are spoken in Queens. Queens is home for over 100 nationalities.

As an artistic reflection of this broad ethnic base, the Queens Museum of Art (QMA) presents "Queens International" through November 3. Participating are more than forty artists and artist groups from twelve countries. QMA is located in Flushing Meadow Corona Park. For more information, you can log on to their website, www.queensmuse.org.

Speaking of…ARTSPLASH 2002 is coming October 5 – November 3 to Fort Tilden. Five weekends of visual, literary and performing arts – indoor, outdoor and of great variety. Watch this newspaper for more information and a full schedule of events.

One of this columnist’s favorite artists is Benny Andrews. "Benny Andrews: Interiors" will be presented at ACA Galleries September 14 – October 12. A reception for the artist is to be held Saturday, September 14, 4-6 PM. "Interiors" is Andrews’ most recent series, predominantly done in oil and collage. Andrews’ work is insightful, clever and powerful. Born in Georgia in 1930, Benny Andrews has been exhibiting nationally and internationally for more than 40 years and is included in the collections of some of the finest museums in this country. He works in a variety of media and is a painter, teacher, writer and activist. His art is influenced by his impoverished background, his African-American roots, music and the rhythms of life around him. The exhibition is accompanied by the release of a 2003 calendar and six posters, all by Andrews. ACA Galleries is located at 529 West 20th Street in Manhattan.

If you saw RAA’s butterfly photo exhibition, "All A-Flutter" and wish to see more, Holly Gordon, Kathleen Hervey and Laura Eppig will give a slide show/ lecture at the New York Hall of Science on September 14 at 2 PM in the Auditorium. Next week read more about Don Riepe’s butterfly walk in Fort Tilden on September 15.

RAA’s next general meeting is Monday, September 9 at 7:30 PM in Fort Tilden, building T-149. All are welcome. Bring your new work.

In this week of profound memories, I wish you peace and solace.

Benny Andrews - "Reception Study #13", Interior Series, 2002. Oil and collage on paper.  Photo courtesy of ACA Galleries.

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