2005-09-30 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance Artsplash Continues, Art Students League Celebrates 130
by Susan Hartenstein

Rockaway Artists Alliance
Artsplash Continues, Art Students League Celebrates 130

Pictured are some of the fabric panels included in “Cross To Bear” by Charlotte “Chuck” Drumm one of the artists in “Artsplash 2005”
Pictured are some of the fabric panels included in “Cross To Bear” by Charlotte “Chuck” Drumm one of the artists in “Artsplash 2005” ARTSPLASH 2005 continues at RoCA with gallery art and live entertainment: RAA’s sTudio 6 and sTudio 7 Galleries continue through October 16 to house an exhibition of more than 120 diverse works from almost 50 artists in an expansive and colorful setting. Admission to the galleries is free. Gallery hours are Saturdays 12-4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m. and by appointment.

Live performances take place on the outdoor Rockaway Moon Stage between the galleries. Saturday, October 8, the live music begins at 8 p.m. At 10 p.m. Seanchai and the Unity Squad, the extraordinary band that combines Celtic, reggae, rock and folk in a masterful social and political fusion, returns to sTudio 7. The Beat Museum returns on Saturday, October 18 at 8 p.m.

Among the most interesting of the artworks in ARTSPLASH is that of Charlotte “Chuck” Drumm from Livingston, Texas. In Cross to Bear, Drumm’s fascination is with roadside crosses. She states, “Depending on your point of view, roadside crosses either litter or adorn the highways and back roads of Texas. Some simple wooden crosses, some elaborate, gaily decorated shrines to the dead, these spontaneous memorials remain anonymous to commuters. My interest in these memorials is purely aesthetic. My computer-manipulated drawings, based on photos of roadside crosses, are printed in bright colors on fabric and hung on a clothesline. Rather than retaining the macabre nature of these roadside crosses, the resulting images convey what can only be described as a prettiness.”

Life drawing workshops are being held every other Friday, 7-10 p.m. in the sTudio 6 Gallery (building T-6) in the Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) at Fort Tilden. The next workshop takes place September 30. There is a $10 fee model’s fee.

Bring your own materials.

The Art Students League of New York celebrates its 130th anniversary with The League Then and Now, an exhibition of selected works by early and recent students from the permanent collection and ephemera from the school archives. The show runs through October 16 at the school’s second floor gallery at 215 West 57th Street in Manhattan. The celebration also includes artist talks, lectures and workshops in September, October and November. The opening reception is October 6, 6-8 p.m. The League Then and Now is more than simply a display of fine artwork. Through its images and wall texts, it is a view into the history of art in America and an American art “institution” that has spawned some of the finest talents in the last two centuries. There is a kind of intimacy built into this show because one is aware when viewing it that one is privy to a glimpse into some of the earliest artistic explorations by young people who went on to be among the most respected and even renowned artists of their day. Included are works by such luminaries as Georgia O’Keeffe and Will Barnet. One cannot help but speculate which of the contemporary students on display will go on to the same fate.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Dead Rabbit and Copper Pot, painted in 1908, won her a League scholarship. A young, fresh O’Keeffe is revealed in a 1908 portrait by fellow student Eugene Speicher. Dead Rabbit and Copper Pot was done in the Still Life class of William Merritt Chase, pictured teaching a class in a photograph taken in 1907. In fact, the sense of continuity and generational renewal is pervasive and inspiring. Students become teachers and train a new generation of artists. The master printmaker Will Barnet created a lithograph in 1934, which is on display, when he was a student of Charles Locke. Barnet, in turn, printed for the graphics classes and such well-known artists as José Clemente Orozco. Among the interesting ephemera is a petition from 1891 in support of re-hiring a particular teacher. These pieces of ephemera, the images and wall texts provide insight into other eras, other approaches, subject matter, dress and social and artistic demeanor. A blurb accompanying a photograph of Frank Vincent Du Mond (1865-1951) reveals that after studying at ASL, he continued his education in Paris, “as did many young American artists at the time.” There is also a 1911 photo of something called a Men’s Life Drawing Class.

The Art Student’s League of New York (ASL) is one of this country’s oldest and most recognized independent art schools. It was formed in the 1870’s in response to the more progressive and cosmopolitan impulses of young artists of the day.

As part of the 130th anniversary celebration is a Galleries Salute to the League’s “excellence and innovation in the training of American artists.”

Seventeen of New York’s finest galleries are mounting exhibitions to run for varying periods of time during September, October and November, presenting works by artists they represent, who taught or studied at ASL. Included are Zabriskie Gallery that will display works by former League instructor Yasiro Kuniyoshi and former student Katherine Schmidt; Jean T. Washburn Gallery, showing early pieces by Jackson Pollock (a student of Thomas Hart Benton), Mark Rothko and David Smith; Marlborough Gallery presenting artwork of Red Grooms; Knoedler Gallery showing Lee Bontecou.

For a full schedule of gallery shows, ASL lectures and talks, hours and any further information, visit: www.theartstudentsleague.org.

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