2007-09-07 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Blockbuster Weekend in Gateway
Rockaway Artists Alliance

"2x6" by Eric Johnstone. Medium, Assembled Photographs. "2x6" by Eric Johnstone. Medium, Assembled Photographs. Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

RAA Contact Info: Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718-474-4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol. com; website: ww.rockawayartistsalliance.org.

Two Exhibitions Concurrently On View @RAA: Saturday, September 8-October 7, 2007.

Artsplash 2007: RAA's annual juried, multimedia cultural event presents a wide variety of visual, literary and performing artists. Location: sTudio 7 Gallery, Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA), Fort Tilden, Queens. Special performing events will be presented on the stages of RAA during the run of the exhibition.

QCA's Project Diversity Queens Exhibit: "Town and Country: Urban, Suburban and Rural Communities." Location: sTudio 6 Gallery, Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA). The galleries will be open on Saturday, September 8. However, the festivities get underway on Sunday, September 9, at 1 p.m.

Opening Reception For Both Exhibits: Sunday, September 9, 2007, 1-3 p.m. in sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA. Free admission to exhibitions and reception. Live entertainment at the reception will include singer Apryl Green and poets Dan Guarino and Shirly Holt. The multitalented Dan will also accompany himself on guitar and mandolin. RAA events usually attract some surprise, last-minute musicians and singers. Among them, the best Rockaway has to offer. The afternoon will feature the awarding of prizes for the best artworks. Gallery hours for both exhibits: Saturdays 12-4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m. and by appointment.

More than 30 artists are exhibiting their work in ARTSPLASH. Each year a showcase for art that is stimulating for the eye, the mind and the spirit, 2007's version is no exception. In the powerful installation, "2x6" by Eric Johnstone, the 12 images of homeless men and women and a display of their paper cups speak for themselves. Dan Guarino's eyepleasing photographs exhibit only a portion of this man's talents. His poetry being displayed reveals other parts of his soul. And, you will

discover, of yours. In the black and white photographs of Paul Lurrie, choice of subject and composition creates as many questions as answers. The viewer longs to know the full story, to explore the images as well as the realms of his or her own mysteries. You may remember an artist I wrote about a few months ago named Chris Preston. His sculpture, "Eric," has been a permanent fixture in the RAA galleries for years now. It is the colorful, fun 'gentleman' in "The Thinker"-like pose that dazzles children and adults alike. Preston has completed Eric's companion, "Tommy," and they both now appear in ARTSPLASH as "Chess Players." The life-size men are made from papier maché, collage and plaster bandages. Though fun and funky, "Chess Players" is a marvelously crafted work of art.

These are just a few of the artworks you must see at ARTSPLASH 2007. More about this multimedia festival and Project Diversity Queens in coming weeks.

The RAA galleries and indoor and outdoor stages at Fort Tilden will be a part of the exciting variety of entertainment you can attend this coming weekend in Gateway National Recreation Area. You can also attend the Rockaway Music and Arts Council's Fall Festival in nearby Riis Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday; the New York Kite Festival on the beach and boardwalk of Riis Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days; and the Aviation History Fly-In in Floyd Bennett Field, just across Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn, from 10 a.m. 'til dark on both days. So come to Gateway in all its glory and beauty, for two full days of fun for the entire family.

Adult Watercolor Classes: Ellen Hoyt will be giving watercolor classes Friday, September 21 and Friday, September 28, 2007 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Location: sTudio 6 in Fort Tilden. Call Hoyt to reserve a spot and for details. $5 extra charge for supplies, if needed. You may attend both classes, or just one. You may call up to the Friday morning of the day/days that you would like to take her class: 718-338-7281.

"The Irish Ropes," a film by Robert Sarnoff, was an Official Selection at the 2006 Queens International Film Festival. You can now see it on the regional sports network, MSG. The following is the September schedule for its showing: September 10 at 7:30 p.m., September 11 at 11:30 a.m., September 25 at 11 a.m.

"The Irish Ropes" is a documentary about a Rockaway boxing gym and the personal stories of the boxers who trained there, including John Duddy. RAA will present the work of artist/filmmaker Robert Sarnoff in a solo exhibition in sTudio 6 Gallery from October 13 through November 4, 2007. The show will incorporate screenings of his well-received and award-winning films. In order to see "The Irish Ropes" on MSG, the viewer must have Direct TV or some other cable or satellite service.

Next At The Post Theater In Fort Tilden: "Rockaway Café: An RTC 10th Anniversary Musical Salute." Some of the best numbers from several of the great musicals produced by the Rockaway Theatre Company in its 10-year history. Performance dates: September 14, 15, 22, 28, 29 at 8 p.m.; September

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