2008-08-29 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance SPLASH To Take The Plunge
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

Rockaway Artists Alliance
SPLASH To Take The Plunge

ARTSPLASH, RAA's annual multimedia Autumn arts celebration, begins in only two weeks (see gray box for dates). We wish to thank the many artists who submitted for jurying. The work of 40 artists was accepted. The results will, once again, be a splendid, wide-ranging exhibition.

SPLASH FLASH: One of the Special Events of ARTSPLASH:

Dzieci - Makbet: A Gypsy retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Saturday, September 20 at 8 p.m. on the sTudio 7 Gallery stage, the Dzieci Theatre Group presents the tale of murderous intrigue, guilt and overpowering political ambitions. Employing haunting folk songs and chants from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, Dzieci (djyeh-chee) spins a story that is centuries old, yet as fresh as today.

Dzieci (the word means 'children' in Polish) is an international experimental theater company based in Brooklyn. More about this unique troupe and this thought-provoking production in next week's column.

Of the two score artists in this year's ARTSPLASH, more than a third have not been seen before in RAA exhibitions; one is from California; another lives in England; several live in this country, but bring their varied backgrounds from their native foreign countries; and, happily, others are returning to our galleries after too long an absence. Artistry is represented in its many forms - visual, literary and performing. Paint mediums, collage, sculpture, mixed media, photography, quiltwork, poetry, song, drama and more.

Title: "Kate" Artist: Jena Homsey Medium: Oil A work from RAA's ARTSPLASH 2008, an exhibit featuring more than 40 artists. Title: "Kate" Artist: Jena Homsey Medium: Oil A work from RAA's ARTSPLASH 2008, an exhibit featuring more than 40 artists. Jimmy Galpin presents his installation/ sculptures, which were created on the shores of Fort Tilden from objects collected there - driftwood, shells, trash, etc., scattered there by nature. Galpin sees them as symbols for the dynamic relationships among natural things, unnatural things and the supernatural. The artist will also be creating installations in RAA's sculpture garden.

Through color, gesture and pose, Jena Homsey's haunting portraits expose the private, often painful, psychological moments expressed on faces. Each gesture leaves the viewer, as Homsey writes, "caught in the uncertainty of the moment," wondering what truth lies behind.

The Rockaway Theatre Company scores another hit with their present production of Philip Barry's "The Philadelphia Story." Excellent direction by Michael Wotypka and Peggy Page, an astute cast and talented technical support by an able crew and design team have brought to life this crisp and clever play. Nancy Sturgis brings a fiery elegance to the lead role of Tracey Lord. Michael McKenny and Tom Patella are fine as her leading men. Susan Corning is sharp and intelligent, with pointed comedy timing, as the gently jaded Liz Imbrie. Frank Freeman and Catherine Mc- Entee strike just the right notes as "the Lord and Lady" of Philadelphia society.

Freeman's no-nonsense dry delivery is in perfect counterpoint to some of the hilarious complications taking place on stage. Joseph Maracina gives the prospective bridegroom (Oh, please don't marry him!) the qualities we love to hate. Thomas Kane in dual roles is impeccable. Dianna Sturgis, who alternates the role of Dinah Lord with Cara Ferro, is a delightfully precocious imp/brat/genius. Maureen Mc- Namee and Robert Press round out a cast that juggles these very delicate, very funny balls in very enjoyable fashion.

Indaculture, Rockaway's home- grown band, wants all their fans to know that the Coney Island Mermaid Parade award they won for being the group on the Best Musical Float of the parade will find its permanent home in Connolly's on the beach block of Beach 94 Street. Way to go, fellas.

Congratulations to RAA's Madeline Braisted, who was recently accepted into the Audubon Artists 66th Annual Juried Exhibition at the prestigious Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. The show is on view from September 8 through September 26, 2008. The reception is scheduled for Sunday, September 21 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Salmagundi.

Help Wanted to: Build support for the arts ... with hammers, nails and two by fours! The RAA needs donations of building supplies to continue renovations on sTudio 7 - Rockaway's gallery/indoor stage at Fort Tilden.

Plywood, sheet rock, insulation, pipe and many other items can all be put to good use by our volunteer builders. If you know of any business, group or person willing to donate materials, please contact the Building Committee via the RAA office. Your help makes our galleries shine.


Phone: 718 474-0861; Fax: 718 474- 4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol.com; website: www.rockawayartistsalli ance.org

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