2007-10-05 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Final Chance To See Two Exhibits With A New Exhibit Coming
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein Rockaway Artists Alliance

RAA CONTACT INFO: Phone: 718- 474-0861; Fax: 718-474-4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol.com; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org.

FINAL WEEKEND - 2 EXHIBITIONS ON VIEW @RAA: through October 7, 2007.

ARTSPLASH 2007: Location: sTudio 7 Gallery, Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA), Fort Tilden, Queens.

QCA's PROJECT DIVERSITY QUEENS EXHIBIT: "Town and Country": Urban, Suburban and Rural Communities.

Location: sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA. Free admission. Gallery hours for both exhibits: Saturdays 12-4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m.

NEXT ON EXHIBIT: "Robert Sarnoff Retrospective," October 13-November 4 in sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA.

Opening reception: Sunday, October 14, 1-4 p.m. See below.

CALL FOR HALLOWEEN VOLUNTEERS: Calling all ghosties, goblins and ghouly wannabes who wannabe involved in building the set for and playing parts in, this year's RAA Halloween production, to take place on the evenings of October 26, 27, 28 and 31.

Please contact the RAA office (see above). If you have suggestions for publicity contacts, email: annierock@ hotmail.com

Artist Robert Sarnoff speaks eloquently of his "love affair with Rockaway." His solo show, "Robert Sarnoff, A Retrospective," begins October 13 at sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA, Fort Tilden. The opening reception is Sunday, October 14, 1-4 p.m. "More and more," he states, "I have become a Rockaway artist who feels he wants to share his imagery, his work with the community." Drawings, collages, paintings, prints, an iconic cachet stamp, cartoons, photographs, portraits and movies will fill the gallery space with the scenes of Rockaway's human drama - the beach folk, daytrippers, children playing, radios, coolers, those seeking, frolicking, triumphing, and those lost in the maze. Each weekend, special events for the exhibit will include screenings of his highly regarded films, all of which are about Rockaway, and book signings. Signed limited edition prints, postcards, notecards and posters make these images available to everyone. The variety of mediums being displayed reflects the levels of creativity through which he feels compelled to interpret the environment and the people surrounding him.

Make no mistake, however. Sarnoff's art is in no way limited by his home base. It is an inspired part of it, reflected in the range of other subjects in the exhibition. Running through the periods of his work is his endless fascination with people; with what it is to be human. His artistic explorations include very abstract pieces, in which he attempts to "delve into the underlying layers of our existence."

Sarnoff's paintings and drawings have been exhibited extensively from, in the artist's words, "SoHo to Hell's Kitchen, from Hewlett to Rockaway." His works are on Marilyn Monroe's immortalmarilyn website, the Saatchi Gallery website and Sarnoff's own, www.rockawayoflife.com. His art can be found in the collections of celebrities, including Oleg Cassini, Arthur Ashe, Eli Wallach and in many private and corporate collections.

"I was born with a crayon in my hand. Never had a coloring book… It's a good idea not to stay within the lines." Sarnoff has taught cartooning and written and illustrated art instructional books that include Cartoons, Comics, Ideas and Techniques. During the exhibit, a book signing of this title will be held in hopes, Sarnoff says, "that a future cartoonist will emerge from seeing this book." Signings will also be held of Sarnoff's United States Postal Service iconic cachet stamp and matted print, Rockaway's "Ye Olde Jetty." Only a few of these valuable, limited edition collector's items exist in the world. Since 2003, he has been Editorial Cartoonist for The Wave. Many of the cartoons have been collected and framed by year, which make for what Sarnoff refers to as a "shorthand synopsis of [world and local] events that shaped the year."

As a filmmaker, Sarnoff has made three movies, all dealing with Rockaway subjects and shot in our community. No Rooms Lobby and The Irish Ropes have been widely honored and won awards and award nominations at prestigious film festivals, including the Queens International Film Festival. Dispatch is nearing completion. The first two films and a premier screening of a rough cut of the third will be shown on separate weekends of the exhibit. Discussions will follow. In fact, the community audience's comments will probably influence the final editing choices for Dispatch. Sarnoff confided that he is thinking of changing the name of his production company to "Five Mile Radius Films" because there are so many fascinating stories and people here, and there are so many talented cameramen, editors and musicians living in Rockaway. Indeed, if you are such a person and wish to become involved in his films, contact him at royalfur@ yahoo.com

On Sunday, October 14, come meet Sarnoff and your neighbors to see and talk about images of our community and of ourselves. "Years from now," Sarnoff conjectures, "someone coming upon one of my works might have a greater understanding of who we were."

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