2004-08-27 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance Botanical Whimsy And More
by Susan Hartenstein

Rockaway Artists Alliance
Botanical Whimsy And More

“Swirling Benches,” a black and white photograph by Scott Weingarten, is just one of the impressive prints included in “A Perfect 10,” on view through this weekend.
“Swirling Benches,” a black and white photograph by Scott Weingarten, is just one of the impressive prints included in “A Perfect 10,” on view through this weekend. Two fast reminders:

1. This is the final weekend to see “A Perfect 10,” RAA’s tenth anniversary member exhibition at sTudio 6 Gallery in Fort Tilden. The exhibit has been dedicated to Izabella Slobodoff, who died last month and was a beloved and respected member of the organization. Gallery hours are Saturday 12-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-4 p.m.

2. This is also the final weekend to see “Drop Dead,” the frenetic farce being presented by the Rockaway Theatre Company at the Post Theater in Fort Tilden. Performances are August 26-28 at 8 p.m.

Of late, my mouth has been watering to pay another visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. As you may know if you follow “From the Artist’s Studio,” BBG is one of the favorite places for this columnist to escape to. (Pardon me for dangling my participle.) August blooms at the Garden include several varieties of mallow (Hibiscus). If you like those rose-of-Sharon that populate your garden, you’ll love the showier, more brilliant hibiscus (same family). BBG’s rose garden is one of the most beautiful and extensive I’ve seen. The August showing also includes aquatic plants like sacred lotus and water lilies in the lily pools and butterfly bushes, complete with the accompanying varieties of butterflies. Of course, there is always the Japanese Garden, the Fragrance Garden, the Annual and Perennial Borders, the Rock Garden, the spectacular trees and so much more.

The Garden can be enjoyed even on rainy days (of which we have seemed to have a lot this summer – didn’t dangle that participle, did I?). Not only does some rain perk up the sights and smells of the gardens, but the Steinhardt Conservatory holds an array of climate zones and the varied plant life that inhabits each. In addition, the central area of the conservatory serves as a gallery space. The exhibit presently in the gallery through Sunday, September 12 is “Wild” Flowers: The Botanical Whimsy of Peggy A. Guest.” The exhibit, in honor of the 90th anniversary of the Children’s Garden at BBG, displays the Missouri artist’s two- and three-dimensional pieces of “horticultural hysteria” for children. Taking the animal appellations of flowers to a clever, playful and beautifully imaginative level, Guest has created paintings with such titles as “Fox Glove,” “Dandy Lions” and “Tiger Lilies.” You and your children can meet the artist at the Harvest Fair on September 12. In fact, there will be a day of celebration and events that Sunday in honor of the anniversary of the Children’s Garden. Log onto www. bbg.org to find out what they are. Garden hours through September are: Tuesday-Friday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.; weekends and holidays 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; closed Monday (open holiday Mondays, except for Labor Day). Through September the Conservatory is open all days that the Garden is open, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Go to the website to find out about admission, special admission packages and all the opportunities for a great day that the Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers.

“FRAME: Art between the 2nd and 3rd World Wars” begins September 26. “ARTSPLASH: A Month-long Multimedia Arts Event” begins October 2. The opening reception for both is October 3, 1-3 p.m. More next week.

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