2008-01-25 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise…Surprise
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

The versatile Dan Guarino entertains the crowd with his poetry at the RAA's "Get Out Of Town," reception at Fort Tilden. The versatile Dan Guarino entertains the crowd with his poetry at the RAA's "Get Out Of Town," reception at Fort Tilden.
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Entertaining and full of wonderful surprises. These words define the opening reception that kicked off the five weekend run of "Get Out of Town," RAA's exhibition presently gracing sTudio 6 Gallery in RoCA. The welcoming atmosphere that characterizes all RAAevents invited visitors in from the cold day. No matter the exterior conditions. Inside, the lovely warmth of the gallery embraced those clever enough to brave the freezing temperatures. Exhibition artwork took them to a variety of intriguing world-wide climes. They enjoyed the excellent conversation of fellow art lovers; the delicious palette of foods set out by Penelope Atheras with assist from Janet Dever; and live performances that got better as the day progressed.

When you provide a setting in which talented people gather, exciting things happen. Acoustic guitarist T.K. Kearney, scheduled to perform, was joined on stage, impromptu, by guitarist/ singer/poet/whistler (Whistler? Yes whistler.) Dan Guarino. Dan never fails to surprise. "Impressive" describes his whistled interpretation of Beethoven's Ode to Joy." (I wonder if he knows Schubert's Trout Quintet?)

In another bit of happy spontaneity, the two musicians were then joined by Ed Shevlin on tin whistle. The three jammed on Irish tunes that included "Danny Boy" and songs written by the great Irish harpist Turlough O'Carolan.

"Get Out of Town" Spotlight: In "Japan Revisited I," photographer Renée Rosenberg has chosen to give her audience an intriguing and unexpected view of fish. Indeed, the viewer may not initially recognize the subjects as fish. Rosenberg, who is also a jewelry maker, pensively reveals that the image she caught in her camera reminds her of jewelry. The pendular creatures are very metallic looking, she comments. Rosenberg was also attracted by their strange shapes, which were interestingly juxtaposed. The artist was captivated by the surrounding blue of the background sky, encompassing these "objects" that are essential to the fishermen and their families.

"Japan Revisited II" shows cabbage heads drying on a ledge, behind which lies a fleet of fishing boats.

Operating on a variety of sensory levels simultaneously, Rosenberg reacted to the shapes of the cabbages and their textures contrasted with the calmness of the water and the simplicity of the fishermen's boats. At the same time she was fully aware that these very men caught the fish that are in the other photograph. For Rosenberg, this sensory and intellectual experience clarifies that we need to acknowledge how nature is connected to our lives, and that we need to see the beauty even in a head of cabbage.

Renée Rosenberg is accustomed to working on many levels simultaneously. In addition to being an accomplished jeweler who exhibits and sells her handmade creations at galleries throughout this country, she holds a master's degree and is a motivational speaker, trainer, career counselor and leadership management coach. She has trained Japanese executives in Tokyo and New York; is an international speaker; holds various positions in professional organizations; is an adjunct lecturer; and an author.

Photographer Joseph Rothenberg is a pretty cooooooooool saxophonist. He will be performing on a coooool Martin tenor sax, which was played by the tenor saxophonist in Fred Waring's orchestra, on Sunday, January 27, 1-4 p.m., at sTudio 6 Gallery. As befits the instrument and the musician, Joe will play great jazz standards that include "Body and Soul," "Embraceable You" and "Stardust." He could even be persuaded, I'm sure, to talk about his terrific black and white photographs in the exhibit.

Wurtsboro Weekend: March 7, 8 and 9, RAA has been invited to exhibit member artwork in the new Wurtsboro Art Alliance gallery on the main street of this quaint upstate town. Contact RAAASAP if you are interested. More details next week.


"GET OUT OF TOWN": Locales and travel beyond Rockaway are explored. Exhibition dates: January 19-February 17, 2008. sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA. Gallery hours: Saturdays 12-4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m. and by appointment. Admission free.

GALLERY SITTER'S EVENTS: Saturday, January 26 @ sTudio 6, 12-4 p.m.: Shirl Holt & friends perform original poetry; photographer Denis Macrae shows images of Rockaway & California. Sunday, January 27 and sTudio 6, 1-4 p.m. Joe Rothenberg performs jazz standards on the tenor sax. Free admission. See column for details.

(FREE) THURSDAY OPEN MIC MUSIC NIGHTS: Every Thursday at 7 p.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery, RoCA. Call the RAA office to schedule your spot at the mic.

(FREE) FRIDAY NIGHT IMPROV: Every Friday Night in sTudio 7 the improv group "No Shame Theater" performs and invites audience members to join in. Call RAA office to sign up.

PAINTING CLASSES FOR ADULTS: Tuesday nights, 7-9 p.m., Thursday mornings, 10 a.m. - 12 noon. sTudio 7, RoCA @ Fort Tilden. $15 per class, supplies included. Instructor: Geoff Rawling.

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