2003-05-09 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists AllianceA Dual Exhibition Opens
by Susan Hartenstein
From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance by Susan Hartenstein A Dual Exhibition Opens

Rockaway Artists Alliance
A Dual Exhibition Opens


The famous “Dragon Boat,” a floating raft designed by Poppa Neutrino. She Now lives in Jamaica Bay.The famous “Dragon Boat,” a floating raft designed by Poppa Neutrino. She Now lives in Jamaica Bay.

The Rockaway Artists Alliance is providing a youth and community program, The Raft Project, an environmental study, in conjunction with the National Park Service. The program began May 3 and will run through June 7. It is 9 sessions, 3 hours each on Saturdays from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Program participants engage in the design and construction of a functional water raft. Service methods include lectures, videos, demonstrations, discussions of environmental and recycling issues, the teaching of simple carpentry techniques and design concepts of watercrafts. This project is supported by funding from the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development.

Over a period of 9 weeks students will design and construct a durable, usable raft from lumber and recycled Styrofoam. Each Saturday afternoon for this period, two RAA instructors will coordinate a 3-hour program at the Fort Tilden site on Jamaica Bay. The course begins with a presentation and video introduction by David Pearlman who has successfully built several rafts, traveling and living on them over the past 15 years.

Students and parents will participate in beach combing along the Jamaica Bay shoreline for washed up Styrofoam, which will be utilized for floatation within a lumber framework. Students will learn basic carpentry skills during the actual building of the floats and the connection of them to form the raft. Lumber will be found and donated.

This course, therefore, develops environmental awareness and recycling skills. A representative of the National Park Service will be invited to discuss these issues with the students. A coastguard representative will also be invited to present water safety issues. Our interconnectedness with a marine environment will be central to this entire curriculum.

The course will culminate in a community launching of the raft on Jamaica Bay, giving our students the satisfaction of creating a vessel from concept to actuality. If you have a teenager between the ages of 13 and 18 who wishes to participate, please contact the RAA office by phone or by email: rockart116@aol.com or have her/him come to building T-7 on Saturday. The Raft Project is a free course.

Saturday, May 10 from 1-4 p.m. join RAA for the opening reception for two exhibitions—"Unbroken: an Exhibition of Hope and Determination" in sTudio 7 and "Through the Lens: An RAA Member Photography Exhibition in sTudio 6." The wine and cheese reception will be held in sTudio 7 Gallery. "Unbroken" is a very special show brought to us by PhotoVoice. Powerful and ultimately uplifting, it presents the photography of children from Vietnam, Bhutan and Afghanistan revealing their lives as only they can. "Through the Lens" presents some of the best of RAA photographers. Admission is free to exhibitions and reception. "Unbroken" is sponsored by Newsday. "Through the Lens" is sponsored by One Stop Photo.

See you at the Fort.


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