2005-12-09 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance RAA
by Susan Hartenstein The Arts @ Fort Tilden

Rockaway Artists Alliance
RAA’s Holiday Meeting, Elections And Audrey Too

by Susan Hartenstein
The Arts @ Fort Tilden –

“From NY With Love,” Medium: Quilt; Artist: Lenni Abel“From NY With Love,” Medium: Quilt; Artist: Lenni Abel Exhibitions@ sTudio 6 and 7 galleries: Gifted: A Holiday Member Exhibition and Sewn and Thrown: A Pottery and Quilt Exhibition of Juried Original Works.

The exhibitions and special events run through December 18, 2005 in the Rockaway Center for the Arts at Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area, Rockaway, Queens, NY.

Admission is free.

Gallery hours: Saturdays 12-4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m. and by appointment. For further information contact Rockaway Artists Alliance: (718) 474-0861; E-mail: RockArt116@aol. com; or visit: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org.

During the exhibition hours of Gifted raffle tickets are available at the gallery for beautiful prints of works by RAA artists who are displaying in the show.

Winners will be announced on the last day of the show, Sunday, December 18 at 3 p.m. The winner need not be present.

The following are being raffled: Beachfront Property by Janet Dever; Touch of Spring by Maureen McGuire; Taking a Dip by Martha Elliott Killian.

Gallery Sitters Events Series:

Saturday, December 10: Laura Flego will continue her wreath workshop.

A small donation is requested.

Sunday, December 11: 1-4 p.m. in sTudio6, Mary Kelly hosts an open mike event for music and spoken word.

Thanks to Susan Locke, Gene Nichol and Laura Flego for their workshops last weekend.

The musical, Little Shop of Horrors, will continue to be presented by The Rockaway Theatre Company (RTC) at the now gloriously heated (yippee) Post Theater at Fort Tilden on the following dates: December 9, 10, 16, 17 @ 8 p.m.; December 11 and 18 @ 2 p.m. and December 10 @ 3 p.m.

For tickets: 718 850-2450. Director: John Gilleece, Musical Director: Jeff Arzberger.

Elections for RAA board members and for president and secretary of the board will take place at the general meeting, Monday, December 12 in building T-149 in Fort Tilden at 7:30 p.m. Only current RAA members (dues paid) are eligible to vote.

The 2005 RAA Holiday Party will follow.

The evening will include a raffle of special and unusual artwork and the infamous Grab Bag.

As stated last week, the sets for RTC productions are an important aspect of the magic created in their shows. The sets for any theatrical play are a major element of that production.

Not only do they set the location and time.

They are vital in creating mood and atmosphere.

They can be extensions of character.

Even a bare stage makes its own statement.

Scenic design is an art form all its own.

Good design requires years of study, practice and a great deal of creativity as well as technical knowledge.

RTC and RAA members collaborate on the design and fabrication of these theatrical works of art.

When you come to see Little Shop of Horrors, two names will be listed for Set Design – Frank Caiati and James Cantirino.

Jimmy is an accomplished artist in a number of mediums and has been a member of RAA for several years.

Frank is a valued member of the RTC family, as an actor and designer. He is a theater major at Brooklyn College, studying scenic design.

Theirs is a happy and fruitful partnership.

Caiati first discusses with the director, who in the case of Little Shop of Horrors is John Gilleece, what he basically wants for the set. Then he designs the architectural aspects of the set. That is, he designs the pieces of it (for example flats, rotating sets, counters, furniture, etc.) and how they will fit together.

He and his crew then build it.

James Cantirino is the art designer.

He designs and helps paint the backdrops, flats (walls) and any other elements that need to be painted. For example, we may have to transform a plain flat into the wall of a florist shop, complete with flower vases or a wooden box that must appear to be a counter. His work is colorful and imaginative. Cantirino has been working in this capacity since RTC’s production of Guys and Dolls. Caiati and Cantirino work so well and harmoniously together, it is sometimes hard to see where one’s work ends and the other’s begins. Collaborating with RTC members to paint the sets are RAA members who include Pat Bishop, John Russo and Pat Seddio. The proof is in the pudding.

The next time you see a production at RTC, imagine it without a set. You will understand just how much of an essential role those imaginative sets play and how much they contribute.

Mention must be made of another important element of the success of Little Shop of Horrors. I am speaking of Audrey II. Yes, the plant that MUST NOT BE FED. I’ve heard of “chewing the scenery,” but Audrey II knows no boundaries. However, Aud would be nothing without the hand-ywork and bodywork of Emily Arikian, Robert Press and Tom Burke. Special applause to them. Check our website at www.rockawayartistsalliance.org for prospectuses on the next three RAA exhibitions: A PRIMARY EXHIBITION: A Juried Exhibition with a Limited Palette; INTRUSION OR INTIMACY: A Juried Exhibition the Concept of Openings, Holes and Orifices; PAPER TRAIL: A Printmaking and Paper Works Juried Exhibition.

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