2008-06-06 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

What A Weekend At Fort Tilden: Literary, Visual Arts, Films
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

This weekend the Rockaway Center for the Arts in Fort Tilden will fully come to life with a literary and film festival, and two exhibitions of the visual arts. A true Rockaway cultural collaboration of which to be proud.

The 2008 Rockaway Literary Arts and Film Festival is sponsored by the Rockaway Music and Arts Council in association with the Rockaway Artists Alliance and the Rockaway Theatre Company. It is being presented in Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area. The two-day event will feature panel discussions, book signings, spoken word presentations, film screenings and workshops featuring more than forty writers and filmmakers, a large number of whom were born and/ or raised in Rockaway, moved here or were inspired by the peninsula. Sunday, June 8 is a day full of literary events in the RAA galleries, bookended by a film festival on Saturday and Sunday evenings in the Post Theater of the Rockaway Theatre Company.

Speaking of bookends, famous radio disc jockey and rock pioneer, Pete Fornatale, will be on hand at the RAA's Moonstage discussing his new book, "Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends," about the complex and enormously creative relationship between the two singer/songwriters from Queens. As part of Fornatale's discussion, members of Thy Burden will perform three of the duo's hits. From late morning through the evening of June 8, the Moonstage will be alive with musical performances by bands, soloists and groups; prose and poetry readings; and staged readings.

RAA's talented husband and wife team of Dan and Liz Guarino will be all over the festival. Dan will sing, play music and read his poetry on the Moonstage. Liz, a Wave columnist, will participate in the Local Journalism panel. Dan and Liz will be part of the panel about joining words and pictures, discussing their new book "Broad Channel: Images of America," which is available on Amazon.com. Speaking of RAA, Robert Sarnoff's latest film, "Dispatch," will be part of the film festival Sunday evening at approximately 7:15 p.m. The film is about the life, times and adventures of a local car service, featuring local "characters" you may recognize.

For a full schedule of the many fascinating aspects and details of the festival that is helping to put Rockaway on the New York cultural map, see Stu Mirsky's column, "The Rockaway Irregular." Admission and parking for the festival are free.

As a perfect backdrop for the festival, RAAwill be presenting two art exhibits and one art auction from June 7- June 22. sTudio 7 Gallery will host "Good and Plenty," the best work of RAA members, revisited. In sTudio 6 Gallery, for the first time in the United States, "Russian Folk Art: Rag-baby Festival," an exhibit of traditional, hand-made Russian folk arts. This historic exhibition is the result of the collaboration of Paraskeva, a Russian ethnographic organization, and the Russian Ethnographic Museum, one of the oldest and largest museums of its kind in Europe. Among the works on display will be a collection from the museum of costume dolls and photographs showing life in 19th Century Russian villages. A brochure will be available.

The opening reception for these two exhibits will be Sunday, June 15, 1-3 p.m. Gallery hours: Saturday, 12-4 p.m.; Sundays, 1-4 p.m.; and by appointment. Free admission.

Two RAA reminders:

1. Fundraising Art Auction: June 22, 1-4 p.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery. The auction wall will be on view June 7- June 22 during gallery hours and is a separate event from "Good and Plenty." For further details, contact RAA.

2. New Watercolor Class: Fridays, June 20 and June 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in sTudio 6 Gallery. Fee: $35 per class. Bring your supplies (if you need supplies, $5 extra). Instructor: Ellen Hoyt. She will cover drawing, composition, design, color, technique and offer inspiration. Beginners and advanced students are welcome. To sign up and/or for details please call Ellen Hoyt at 718-338-7281.

CU@RoCA. 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 7 Gallery, RoCA @ Fort Tilden, GNRA. "Russian Folk Art." June 7-June 22. sTudio 6 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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