2008-09-19 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

The Best Of Artsplash, And Then Some
by Susan Hartenstein

Hundreds attended the opening reception for ARTSPLASH. The work of 40 visual and literary artists and the talents of performing artists made for an exciting afternoon. The Silly Dilly Band entertained the large audience of children of all ages. Parents and youngsters were brought to their feet dancing and singing along with the captivating vocalists and musicians of the band. The band Breezy Grass continued the terrific afternoon of music. Thanks to both groups for their splendid performances.

Thanks also to the jurors of ARTSPLASH and the RAA Exhibitions Committee for presenting to the public an excellent, diverse show of artwork in the RAA galleries and outdoor sculpture garden.

Jurors included Penelope Atheras, Madeline Braisted, Tommy Burke, Janet Dever and Ruth Kraiem. The Exhibitions Committee includes the aforementioned and Dan Guarino, Martha Killian and Geoff Rawling. Refreshments were provided by Atheras, Dever and Jena Homsey.

RAA expresses its gratitude to Faustino Quintanilla, director of the Art Gallery at Queensborough Community College, for judging this year's ARTSPLASH Awards. Congratulations to the winners. Following is a brief description of the honored works.

ARTSPLASH '08 exhibitions; part of the large crowd at the opening reception enjoying entertainment by the Silly Dilly Band. Photo by John J. Grillo. ARTSPLASH '08 exhibitions; part of the large crowd at the opening reception enjoying entertainment by the Silly Dilly Band. Photo by John J. Grillo. Of course, words are inadequate representatives of art "in the flesh." So come to the Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) at Fort Tilden Saturdays 12-4 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m. through October 12 to experience terrific art "in the flesh." Admission is free.

"Distress," a mixed media work by Californian Elsa Mickelsen, won as Best Conceptual Work. It is a painful and powerful comment on the state of our country in the modern world.

Best in Oil went to Yuri Yurov for "Untitled." Clearly a sumptuous work by a master artist, the fragile beauty of a young woman's face is created in its smooth, exacting brushwork and delicate features (as in a Renaissance visage) and intensified by the contrasting rough textures of built-up gesso ground under the rocks of the background seacoast, the skirt of her dress and her long tresses.

Wilda Gallagher maintains the purity, intensity and full saturation of the contrasting reds and greens she uses to breathtaking effect to describe the glory of the "Dance of Red Tulips" and their foliage. Understandably, the work was awarded Best in Acrylic. Best in Watercolor went to Ellen Hoyt for "Wave II." A master in the classic, traditional use of transparent watercolor, Hoyt further creates the drama and power of crashing waves through the expert use of the white of the paper to describe their foam and wake. "Sixth Hour" won Jimmy Miracle (Galpin) a Best in Sculpture award. An installation piece Miracle created in the sculpture garden behind sTudio 7 Gallery, the work is fabricated from so-called 'debris' washed up on the Rockaway beaches. One must stand near it for a while in order to experience the full impact of this mandalalike work. Ever expanding circles of shells that grow in size as they flow from the center, each section composed of a different type shell; the contrasting bulk and rough textures of driftwood and rope hanging above; the freedom of suspended feathers and fabric wafting in the breezes; rusted cans; an arch of metal. A sense of eternity in shape, construction and composition.

"La Corniza" by Susana Beibe was deemed the Best in Mixed Media. It is a work which transcends representational art, and in which the Argentinean artist, in her words, "examines a fragmented man's search for a place in the world."

Christain LeGars' "L'Artiste," an etching with watercolor, was honored with the Award of Merit. A watercolorist and printmaker of extraordinary skill, LeGars is one of only 25 printmakers whose work is included in the first portfolio ever published by the internationally renowned Print-making Workshop, where he studied under master printmakers Robert Blackburn and Elizabeth Harington.

Often combining the techniques of watercolor and printmaking, LeGars' works appear in various private and public collections including the Library of Congress. Among his honors, LeGars has received the Manhattan Arts International magazine Artist Showcase Award and the www.ManhattanArts.com Artist of the Month Award. He has exhibited in prestigious venues that include the Salmagundi Club.

Voted "Best in Show," Igor Gushchin's oil painting "Silence" is a stylized, iconic work that evokes the distant craters of the moon and the vast regions of the mind.

Deadline Alert!

Deadline for receipt of submissions for "A Funny Thing…": TODAY, Friday, September 19. See RAA website for full details.

Book Signing for Images of America: Broad Channel by Liz and Dan Guarino: Sunday, September 21 at 2 p.m. at Riis Landing.

CU@RoCA.

RAA contact information: website: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org; phone: 718-474-0861; email: rockart 116@aol.com; fax: 718-474-4373.

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