2007-11-23 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like…
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

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

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS FOR THE SECOND ANNUAL ROCKAWAY LITERARY ARTS FESTIVAL: In 2007, the Rockaway Literary Arts Festival brought a whole new dimension to the arts of this peninsula. Plans for the second annual festival have begun. Volunteers are needed to work in all aspects of the event. The Rockaway Music and Arts Council (RMAC) has tentatively scheduled the Literary Festival for Sunday, June 6, 2008. It will include writers discussion panels, book signings, book selling, school writing contests, author appearances, children's activities, film screenings, filmmaker talks, spoken word and musical performances, as well as an expanded film festival to be held on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

The 2007 Literary Arts Festival demonstrated the finest aspects of the cooperation among the arts groups, individual artists and citizens of our peninsula, business and our government. Presented and organized by RMAC in cooperation with RAA, the Rockaway Theatre Company and Gateway National Recreation Area, the success of the festival depends on the efforts of individual volunteers dedicated to their community. The 2007 festival showcased the rich cultural resources of Rockaway and brought literary and related artists, publishers, booksellers and agents to us for an unprecedented creative event. People are needed if they can organize or fulfill tasks in publicity, logistics, panel participation, setting up, taking down, etc., etc., etc. No matter what the nature or size of the job, you are essential. If you are interested, please contact Stuart Mirsky at SWMirsky@aol.com right away. This year's event will be named in honor of Barbara Eisenstadt, who was RMAC's president and guiding force behind that organization's initiating of the festival.

Six RAA artists were asked by The National Park Service to decorate Christmas ornaments to be hung on the official White House Christmas tree. In all, 200 artists from around the country were each asked to decorate an ornamental gold ball, each with an image representing a different national park. The ornaments are in commemoration of the centennial of the national park system, established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907. The six RAA artists are Janet Dever, Martha Killian, Bogda Matuzewski, Chris Preston, Renée Radenberg and Geoff Rawling. The 200 artists have been invited to attend the ceremony in Washington, D.C. on November 28 celebrating the centennial.

Thanks go to Alex Romero of The National Park Service for recommending RAA for this honor. Romero is the former Site Manager of the Fort Tilden/ Breezy Point Area of Gateway National Recreation Area. He has since been promoted to another position at a park in Virginia.

Despite the cold outside, there was a warm glow inside sTudio 6 Gallery on Sunday at the opening reception for "Gifted 2007." The well attended event offered the gold, frankincense and myrrh of art, poetry and music, seasoned with the always delicious comestible treats prepared by Penelope Atheras, Joan Boudrault and Janet Dever. The poetry of Dan Guarino, Joan Boudrault and Shirl Holt was read. Dan Guarino completed his personal 'hat trick' by singing (some of the songs, he composed) and accompanying himself on guitar and mandolin. One of these days he will also dance and drink Perrier at the same time. "Gifted" is on view through Sunday, December 16. Gallery hours are Saturdays 12-4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m. and by appointment. The show was hung by Penelope Atheras and Martha Killian.

In the coming cold days of winter (yes, they are coming) warm yourself at the welcoming hearth of "Gifted." Here are a few of the artistic offerings to be found in sTudio 6. Maureen McGuire has fashioned elegance and sensuality in oil paint. In "Tranquility," the palpable textures of barnacle covered decaying pilings contrast with their mirror-calm reflections in the encroaching glassy seawater at the ocean's edge. Jessica Schulman's love of lighthouses is manifested in two works. The beautiful stormy sky is a dynamic backdrop in "Annisquam Lighthouse." The obvious fact that this is a computer constructed photograph adds to the gothic drama and mystery of the image. The land and sea appear to have been born in two different worlds, though their separate natures butt up against each other. The fact that, "Baby It's Cold Outside" is made clear by the crisp, sharp colors in Joan Doblin Vogel's acrylic painting. Vogel's expert use of white and cool blues are set in sparkling contrast to sparing touches of red and that insistent dash of yellow.

"GIFTED 2007," RAA's annual member holiday show: On view through
December 16, sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA @ Fort Tilden.
GALLERY SITTER'S EVENT: Sunday, December 2 poet and artist Shirl
Holt will read her poetry in sTudio 6 during gallery hours.
(FREE) FRIDAY NIGHT IMPROV: Every Friday Night in sTudio 7 the
improv group "No Shame Theater" performs and invites audience members
to join in.
Twist - Saturday, November 24 @ 8 p.m. in sTudio 7. No cover. Contact RAA
for details.
29. Every Thursday at 7 p.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery, RoCA. November 24 will
be part of above Music Video event.

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