2005-04-08 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance

“Teenagers on Greyhound bus headed north from Salt Lake City, Utah,” Bobby Abrahamson.“Teenagers on Greyhound bus headed north from Salt Lake City, Utah,” Bobby Abrahamson. Gallery Happenings:

Upcoming: Fifteen Years Immersed in Watercolor: The Art of M. Elliott Killian begins Saturday, April 16. The popular local artist displays her watercolors, photographs and poems. Meet the artist at the opening reception on Sunday, April 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. The event will feature live entertainment, refreshments and an Artist’s Print raffle. A Dessert Reception takes place Saturday, April 23. Admission is free to all events. Gallery hours: Saturdays 12-5 p.m.; Sundays 1-4 p.m. Presented in partnership with The National Park Service/Gateway National Recreation Area.

Thanks to all involved in RAA’s fundraiser, Be a Fool for the Arts. Organizer of the event, Karen McCallion, and all those who assisted her did a terrific job. Held at The Beach Club, the evening was sold out, despite the horrific weather. Congratulations to all the brave and loyal supporters of RAA who attended. They were treated to the delicious food of the Beach Club, always great supporters of their community, to the entertainment of juggler Tim Malloy and to DJ Timmy Tubridy. Excellent original artwork and contributions from local businesses were raffled off. Thanks also to honorees Jonathan Gaska, Kate Judge Patton, José Ramirez, Tara Scannell, Michael Tubridy and The Graybeards for all their good work for the community.

RAA artist Bobby Abrahamson has published his first book of photography and a solo exhibition of his work opens April 15. Many of you will remember Abrahamson as an exceptional teacher at Camp kidsmART. The book, One Summer Across America, features 50 color photographs from a 3-month Greyhound bus journey across this country during the summer of 2001. The volume includes afterwords by well-known photographer Robert Frank and Thomas W. Southall, Curator of Photography at the Harn Museum of Art. Abrahamson travels extensively in America and around the world. In his words, “The call of the open road seduces me…It grants absolute freedom and anonymity.” One Summer Across America reflects his search for the heart of America and his search for himself.

This “wanderlust,” this journey of the soul has produced a gallery of fascinating, haunting images of people and their contexts. We look into their faces and are drawn into their journeys, perhaps recognizing our own.

Abrahamson writes: “This is my country – my people. All across the land I found the same sad sweet song that echoes in my own soul. The sadness – the loneliness – the silliness of it all. Why are we here? What are we doing to help each other? What’s the point?

I found beauty and joy, too. There’s such pride and perseverance in the American spirit. There is a reckless idealism and confidence which – though often absurd it is laughable — somehow manages to reassure and inspire me to maintain my own faith and determination.”

One Summer Across America is also the name of the exhibition which opens April 15 at the Photography Center of Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia, Abrahamson’s hometown. The exhibition will feature photographs from the book One Summer Across America, and will also include a much larger collection of material including black and white photographs from a similar trip Abrahamson completed the summer before (2000), outtake images, correspondences, newspaper clippings, journal entries, and numerous other material collected during his travels - to create a travelogue/journal installation of a summer’s journey searching for the artist’s own identity in what he saw as meaningful glimpses of America. The exhibit runs through May 15. Copies of the book may be purchased from Abrahamson directly for $35 plus $3 shipping by emailing him at: bobbyphoto@earthlink.net Copies will also be available at the International Center for Photography in the next couple of weeks.

CU@RoCA.

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