2008-05-30 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

A Blossoming Artist And Russian Folk Dolls
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

"Russian Folk Art: Rag-baby Festival," is an exhibit that allows the viewer to experience traditional, hand-made Russian folk crafts. This project, brought to this country for the first time, is a result of the collaboration of the Russian ethnographic organization, Paraskeva, and the Russian Ethnographic Museum. Included in the show are dolls from the museum collection, costume dolls and photographs capturing life in 19th century Russian villages. Abrochure will be available explaining the production of the traditional dolls.

Fundraising Art Auction: June 22, 1-4 p.m. Drop-off date of work: June 1, 1-3 p.m., sTudio 7. No jurying. Open to membership, all mediums. Prints must be identified by type. Limit of two submissions, ready for hanging. Auction wall will be exhibited in sTudio 7, June 7-June22, and is a separate event from "Good and Plenty." For important further details, contact RAA.

Artist and teacher Esther Grillo calls her an RAA success story. Marina Callaghan, kidsmART Program Director, says she is "one of the gems of the organization." Christina Coradin began drawing when she was five years old. At age 19 she has just completed her first year at the Fashion Institute of Technology, studying General Illustration. In the intervening years Christina was trained by, took classes from and has worked in a number of RAA projects and programs, which she continues to do. Those experiences and art classes in high school have helped her to the realization that she wants to make art her career. "That's where I should be and what I want to do." Specifically, she wants to be in book illustration and advertising.

Two original drawings by Christina Coradin. "Class 3" is a figure drawing of a model; "Hero" is an original character created by the artist. Two original drawings by Christina Coradin. "Class 3" is a figure drawing of a model; "Hero" is an original character created by the artist. In addition to drawing when she was a young girl, Coradin made her own books with her mother, herself an artist who studied costume design for the theater. Coradin is a fan of comics and cartoons. Like many artists, including the great ones, she has learned by copying the masters of the genre that most excites her. But the young artist uses this as a jumping off point for her own original works. She enjoys drawing from life; from models. But she appreciates the freedom of illustration, in which she can interpret and create from her own imagination - a freer form, she finds, than graphic design. When asked what excites her about drawing, she responds, "The imagination takes you out of this world." She loves when people are able to "see all sorts of things in my drawings."

RAA not only gave Coradin the training to develop her skills, it provided her with jobs. She first discovered RAA when she started working with Esther Grillo, repainting and restoring Grillo's murals on the "Wave" bus shelters along Shore Front Parkway. So impressed with the young artist was Grillo that she recommended Coradin to RAA's Education Department. Grillo calls her, "reliable,...[ open to] instruction,…a selfstarter,… an asset." Coradin has been a junior counselor in RAA's kidsmART after school program and in camp kidsmART. Grillo is such a fan of her protegé's talent that the mentor owns some of the student's artwork.

Clearly, Coradin is not only an asset to RAA. She is an asset to her community and to the younger artists to whom she passes on her skills, her love of creativity and her standards of ethics.

Please mark your calendars for the second annual Rockaway Literary Arts and Film Festival, June 7 and 8 in Fort Tilden. Writing panels and workshops, film screenings and live entertainment on the outdoor Moon Stage will consume two evenings and a full day in the park. See the cultural riches this peninsula holds. Food and refreshments will be available, admission and parking are free.

Read more about the festival in Stu Mirsky's column, "The Rockaway Irregular" and in press releases in this paper.

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

Fort Tilden Highlights

NEXT EXHIBITIONS: "Good and Plenty," the best work by RAA artists, revisited. Saturday, June 7-Sunday, June 22. Location: sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA @ Fort Tilden, GNRA. "Russian Folk Art." June 7-June 22. sTudio 7 Gallery, RoCA. For details see column. For both exhibits: Gallery hours: Saturdays 12-4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m. and by appointment. Free admission. Opening reception: Sunday, June 15, 1-3 p.m. FUNDRAISING ART AUCTION: June 22, 1-4 p.m., sTudio 7 Gallery Deadline for submission of work: June 1. No jurying. Open to membership. See column for more details. (FREE) THURSDAY OPEN MIC MUSIC NIGHTS: Every Thursday, 8 p.m.-12 a.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery, RoCA. Jamming with great local and non-local musicians and singers; open mic LIFE DRAWING CLASS with live model. Every Thursday, 8-10 p.m.in sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA @ Fort Tilden. Fee: $20 per class. No pre-registration necessary. Instructor: Geoff Rawling. 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

FRIDAY NIGHT IMPROV: "No Shame Theater" performs theater games, improvised scenes based on written works; all are invited to join in.

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