2004-10-08 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
by Susan Hartenstein

ArtSplash will run weekends at Fort Tilden until November 7.ArtSplash will run weekends at Fort Tilden until November 7. To thank everyone responsible for the unbelievable success of Sunday’s opening of ARTSPLASH and FRAME would require an entire column and would leave me open to criticism for overlooking somebody. Instead allow me to congratulate Geoff Rawling, the entire Exhibitions Committee of RAA that includes Norma Allende, Janet Dever, Martha Killian and me, Administrative Assistant Tara Scannell, “Caterer Extraordinaire” Karen McCallion (and Mary McCallion), technical wizes Jan Nebozenko and Apryl Green, everyone who was part of the spectacular entertainment that day (you must know who they are from the last few columns), Roger Carreau for chronicling the event with his camera, and every single person I am forgetting because of my advanced age. A public “thank you” to Audrey Frank Anastasi and Katherina Romanenko for their astute job of jurying/curating ARTSPLASH and FRAME, respectively. The exhibits continue through November 7.

Upwards of 800 people attended the opening, throughout the course of the day. Some stayed from beginning to end. A bounty of art lovers, music lovers, spoken word aficionados and even nature lovers (the weather was perfection) came and went in ever-changing, ever-renewing kaleidoscopic waves. Young, old and in the middle – they came from the length of the peninsula, Brooklyn, mainland Queens and from parts north, south, east and west, reflecting the broad scope of the artists participating in the exhibitions and performances. Comments were heard from all quarters, praising the quality and range of art on display and in performance on and around the Moon Stage. Many felt this was the best ARTSPLASH to date. One woman raved that these two shows comprised the best display of art she’d ever seen. So, the largest thanks must go to the members of the public, many of whom are our fellow artists, who have come to enjoy and support the richness of the Rockaway Center for the Arts. As the center and the events it offers grow, so grow the numbers of people who discover and appreciate the vibrant arts and cultural entity right here in Fort Tilden. RAA greatly appreciates the continued support of the National Park Service/ Gateway National Recreation Area and in particular, Rita Mullally, the park’s administrator

Two more great weekends on RAA’s outdoor Moon Stage at Fort Tilden are coming up. (In case of inclement weather, performances move indoors to sTudio 7.) Saturday, October 9 begins at 7 p.m. with a “Welcome to Rockaway” cocktail party for Tom Finkelpearl, the Executive Director of the Queens Museum of Art. Mr. Finkelpearl has wisely recognized the joys of our fair peninsula and is going to become one of its residents. The evening’s entertainment includes acoustic selections from “Monkey Dish,” spoken word by Sandra Overstreet, the Beat Museum on Wheels, Aesha’s “Hip Pop,” and the Bayou Blues Band.” For exact scheduling see RAA’s ad in this week’s paper. For more details on the entertainment see last week’s column.

Seanchai and the Unity Squad headline Band Night on Saturday, October 16. The Celtic hip-hop band is well-known to Rockaway audiences. They have played gigs on this peninsula many times and this is the third year they have appeared at ARTSPLASH. Each time they have reinforced their reputation as an extraordinary, original, and dynamic group of musicians and singers. Their songs are socially and politically powerful and their talent as musicians is supreme. Please do not miss them. They are like no band you’ve ever seen or heard. Preceding Seanchai on the bill are names also well-known to Rockawayites for their talent. Singer/musician John plays at 7:30 p.m. Guy Nevers and “Squid” go on at 8:30 p.m. These folks have also appeared at other RAA events and they, too are amazing. Aesha’s Hip-Pop follows “Squid.” I look forward to a great night of music, fun and camaraderie.

RAA members Christian LeGars and Jeff Berman have recently been honored by the Audubon Artists, Inc. At the organization’s 62nd Annual Exhibition, held at the prestigious Salmagundi Club, Le Gars won one of two first prizes awarded for watercolor — the Gold Brush Award given by the Jack Richesom Company. The award was juried by Lorie Goulet, sculptor and instructor at the Art Students League of New York and Frann Bradford, President of the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery. Manhattan Arts International is a website and business newsletter. You can visit their website at: manhattanarts.com to view Le Gars’ artwork. He has been nominated “Artist of the Month.” Jeff Berman received the prize for mixed media at the Audubon Artists show. Berman is also a member of the Salmagundi Club.

Some of you have recently inquired as to the whereabouts of RAA’s beloved palm reader and soothsayer, Medium Rayah. She has not been seen, of late, in her usual haunts and in the corners and shadows of RAA events. Well, this has been a rough year for The Madam, for reasons I cannot now discuss. She has desperately attempted to take a much overdue rest cure at an undisclosed swamp in New Jersey. But, alas and allack, without success. Her crystal balls have just been too much in demand. And now, Queen Rayah has emailed me, her nocturnal rest is being disturbed by visions of vicious vivisectors from far-off venues. Rayah’s dreams are becoming “ALIENATED.” Does this portend another horror-filled Halloween? Will The Madam ever get time to fix her roof?

For these and other answers, log onto www.rockawayartistsalliance.org or e-mail: rockart116@aol.com.

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