2007-11-30 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Enjoy 'Treasures In The Harbor'
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

One of the works in "Gifted 2007" on view at sTudio 6 in Fort Tilden. Title: Night Scene Two," Artist: Dan Cronin. Medium: Oil on Canvas One of the works in "Gifted 2007" on view at sTudio 6 in Fort Tilden. Title: Night Scene Two," Artist: Dan Cronin. Medium: Oil on Canvas RAA CONTACT INFO: Phone: 718- 474-0861; Fax: 718-474-4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol.com; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org

Kudos to PBS and the National Park Service (NPS) for the excellent special, "Treasures in the Harbor," in which RAA campers, educators and artists were featured. Shown Thanksgiving evening and repeated Saturday afternoon on Channel 13, the show can also be seen online. Visit: http://www.thirteen. org/nycparks/

The PBS website, to which we are now linked, offers segmented viewing. If you'd like to review our segment, hit Staten Island/Queens and, of course, the Fort Tilden Arts Group segment. It's very easy. You may see your own kidsmART camper. The entire program can also be seen, and is well worth it.

The highly informative documentary examined the National Park sites in New York City, including our own Gateway National Recreation Area (GNRA), Fort Tilden site. Filmed this past summer, the Rockaway Artists Alliance and our kidsmART summer camp, along with lots of friends like GNRA and the Surfrider Foundation, were part of the show.

The special was produced by Jim Brennan and assistant producer Jennifer Hallam for Thirteen/WNET.

They created a program that provided a view of some hidden natural and historic treasures in our harbor that many (perhaps most) people in our city don't even realize are so close at hand. The story of Ulysses S. Grant and his tomb, as told by a descendant, for example, was absolutely fascinating. Though a lot of hard work goes into producing a program like this, the documentary's approach was simple and direct.

In part because of excellent editing, "Treasures in the Harbor" was a great deal of fun to watch. This was also due in large part to the honest enthusiasm, knowledge and love of the area of those interviewed. The producers allowed the people and the settings to tell the story.

Dave Taft of NPS/GNRA gave a wonderful overview of the natural beauty, environmental importance and interactive educational opportunities in the park. Thanks to camp kidsmART codirectors Marina Callaghan and Christine Mullally, artists Penelope Atheras and Robin Pogrebitsky, and kidsmART instructor/dancer/musician Khadyjah Harper-Alleyne, RAA was well represented, and the productive story of artists, children and educators in a breathtaking natural setting was eloquently and unpretentiously told.

Chris Wade from the Surfrider Foundation, the group we partnered with this past summer, was particularly gracious in bringing the Producer Jim Brennan and the AP Jennifer Hallam to us.

The experience was not only a blast, it gave us an up close and personal view into the mechanics of documentary television film work. I love where we live in the world and this just brought it all home. As someone close to and part of RAA, I am very proud of my association with an organization that gives back to children, to other artists, and to the community at large. Our beautiful kids who partnered with the Surfrider Foundation learned valuable lessons about the environment in which they live and for that we are grateful to Chris Wade, in particular, and to all of the Surfriders.

It was terrific! More "Gifted 2007" Highlights:

Four small, shining watercolor landscapes are displayed by artist Ellen Hoyt. These little 'gems' have an almost Japanese feel to their mood and brushstrokes. Photographer Ruth Kraiem defines cold winter with a sense of warmth and humor in "Snow- Man Chit Chat" and "Making Snow Angels." Using a limited palette, the mysterious, haunted beauty of a corner among city buildings illuminated by a single lamp is revealed in Dan Cronin's oil painting "Night Scene Two."

REMINDER: "Get Out of Town," an exhibition about travel, all mediums, any destination besides Rockaway.

Deadline for receipt of submissions: December 12, 2007.

Visit: www.rockawayartistsalliance. org for full prospectus and entry form.

CU@RoCA. FORT TILDEN HIGHLIGHTS:

"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) THURSDAY OPEN MIC MUSIC NIGHTS: Every Thursday at 7 p.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery, RoCA.

(FREE) FRIDAY NIGHT IMPROV: Every Friday Night in sTudio 7 the improv group "No Shame Theater" performs and invites audience members to join in. RAA GENERAL MEETING/ELECTIONS/HOLIDAY PARTY: Monday,

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