2004-07-30 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
by Susan Hartenstein

Rockaway Artists Alliance
‘A Perfect 10,’ An Anniversary Exhibit


The Rockaway Artists Alliance presents “A Perfect 10,” an anniversary member exhibition that celebrates an exciting decade of growth and the continuing fulfillment of a dream. The exhibition runs from August 7 through August 29 at sTudio 6 Gallery in the Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) in Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area. The opening reception is Sunday, August 8 from 1 to 3 PM and features live entertainment from member performing artists. Gallery hours are Saturdays 12-5 PM and Sundays 1-4 PM. Admission is free. “A Perfect 10” is presented in partnership with the National Park Service/Gateway National Recreation Area.

Two of the paintings that will be shown in the anniversary exhibit, both by Martha Elliott Killian of Rockaway Point.
Two of the paintings that will be shown in the anniversary exhibit, both by Martha Elliott Killian of Rockaway Point. In 1994, RAA began as a handful of visual artists who shared a vision to build an arts center to meet the creative needs of its members and its community. In 2004, having established the Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) in a former army base, in partnership with the National Park Service, it is an organization of 150 whose artist members come from a variety of disciplines including writing, filmmaking and the performing arts. “A Perfect 10” reflects that diversity.

Twenty-three artists participate in “A Perfect 10.” They include original members, members of long-standing and recent members, all of who continue to broaden the scope and colors of the RAA palette. The seascapes of original member M. Elliott Killian reflect the inspiration of this beautiful peninsula. Four former Rockaway lifeguards — filmmakers Greg Darda, Dan Geary, Brian Gillen and Jason Neas — present two short films.

One explores the spiritual aspects of being a lifeguard in Rockaway.

The other is a poignant study of brotherhood. The breathtakingly tactile “Life after Loss” is a metaphorical painting by former RAA vice president and arts education director Christina Jorge.

Jen Connell’s photorealistic acrylics are both fascinating and fun.

Renée Radenberg’s, “The Sea,” uses recycled scrap glass and copper to create an abstract wall hanging/mobile that captures the spirit of her subject.

Maryann McEvoy’s quilts represent the fabric artists of RAA. The vibrating colors, lines and brushstrokes of the paintings of Wilda Gallagher have recently brought yet another artist’s sensibility to the organization.

Dan Guarino joined RAA to explore painting, but instead found a welcoming venue for his poetry and photography.

Kenneth Axen’s photographs present three intense faces of womanhood. These are only some of the artists in “A Perfect 10.”

Rockaway Artists Alliance and the Rockaway Center for the Arts continue to evolve, with the help of government and community support. sTudio 7 Gallery is presently under renovation.

It will eventually become the hub of RoCA. In recent years these facilities have been used to present multimedia exhibitions that attract a spectrum of artists from across the country.

RAA has established highly respected arts education programs, contracted under city funding, to teach in all five boroughs. It runs an immensely popular summer camp and after school program.

What does the future hold?

RAA has proven that with hard work and imagination, dreams really do come true.

Come see “A Perfect 10.” Celebrate the first 10 and the beginning of the next 10.

“A Perfect 10” juried artists are: Diane J. Ali, Norma Allende, Kenneth Axen, Roger Carreau, Jen Connell, Richard Rowney Connell, Christina Jorge, Greg Darda, Dan Geary, Brian Gillen, Jason Neas, Janet Dever, M. Elliott Killian, Wilda Gallagher, Irv Gordon, Dan Guarino, Mary Kelly, Maryann McEvoy, Desmond Mc Gowan, Maureen McGuire, Renée Radenberg, Geoffrey Rawling and Scott Weingarten.

The RAA family suffered a tremendous loss last week. Izabella Slobodoff was an original member of RAA. She was a great artist in many mediums. She was warm, generous, intelligent and dedicated to her family, her friends and her art.

Riding along Beach Channel drive, you may have seen her working on her sculpture of the fireman’s helmet.

Bella will be very much missed.

Next week, a portion of this column will be devoted to telling you more about this amazing woman.

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