2008-10-24 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

'I Want My Mummy!!!'
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

The Revelation Is Here! Gadzooks, I Want My Mummy!!

7.5"Toothless Vampire," by Geoff Rawling. Medium: Pen and ink. One of the pieces in RAA's exhibit, "A Funny Thing." 7.5"Toothless Vampire," by Geoff Rawling. Medium: Pen and ink. One of the pieces in RAA's exhibit, "A Funny Thing." Oh, children of the Rockaway universe. All may now be revealed. All can now be told by me, Madam Rayah, fortune teller, notary public, Tina Fey impersonator and next season's winner of "Dancing with the Stars." (I saw it in my crystal ball - Really!) (It's amazing how clear that just-arrived converter box makes the images in my glass globe.)

If you wish to save your life and the lives of those you love, read on.

Skip this column at your ow-w-w-wn peril-l-ll.

For three nights - yes, three, I tell you - sTudio 7 Gallery, a.k.a building T-7, located in the Fort of Tilden, will be engorged with heinous hieroglyphians trying to draw into their deadly maze-like tomb the unsuspecting innocents of our village. Hallucinations, you say? Nay, say I.

On the nights of Thursday, October 30; Friday, October 31 (and we all know what night that is); and Saturday, November 1, from 6 to 9 p.m., evil ancient Egyptian creatures of the underworld and their cohorts will entice and entrap souls of so-called visitors (a journey from which they may never return) to enter a chilling interactive chamber of horrors.

At the gates of this chamber is the jackal-headed Anubis, Ruler of the Underworld. Said by some historical (or is it hysterical?) accounts to be "the color of rotting flesh," he is the Guardian of the Veil of Death. Here, he will weigh your soul. If it is lighter than a feather, you will go on to your rightful place in the afterlife. If heavier, your heart will be ripped out and fed to a deity in the neighboring tomb. But wait. Come to think of it, my ancient Egyptian/English grandmummy told me that Anubis is said by many to attend to the mummification of the dead, to protect their journey and to protect their tombs. So … who is this? Oh, Souls of Halloween Protect Us! This Anubis is an imposter. An imposter bent on Embalming The Living! Oh I see it ALL now. Putrified paleontologists. Abhorrent aberrant archaeologists. Monstrous murderous mummies. Unhinged unwrapped wrappers. Though eloquently alliterative, could it get any worse?!

Stay away! Stay far away, I implore you, from the Fort of Tilden, at T-7 and its environs, on the evenings of October 30, 31 and November 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. Listen and live. If you don't believe me … Ask Your Mummy! Exhausted and emotionally spent, I now return this column to Susan Hartenstein.

Well done, Medium Rayah. Thank you.

But, I must add: If you don't listen to MR and insist on having the fun fright of your life while learning some cool stuff about hieroglyphics and ancient Egyptian mythology, wear comfortable shoes. This is a safe, great event for the entire family. But remember, as always: if you have children who easily become upset at an interactive event like this, think twice before bringing them. We want this to be an exciting, entertaining memory for everyone.

RAA is looking for volunteers to help build the Halloween maze, construct costumes, be actors, actresses and tour guides. They meet every Friday night before Halloween at 8 p.m. in sTudio 7.

"A Funny Thing …," RAA's exhibition celebrating humor through art, opened Sunday in sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA. The reception drew many and provided the guests with terrific entertainment by TK Kearney, Dan Guarino, Joe Rothenberg and Kevin Callaghan. When RAA musicians gather, both rehearsed and improvised jammin' abound. Thanks to them and to the Exhibitions Committee for the refreshments and the warm, welcoming atmosphere.

"I put things together 'til it looks right," artist Carol Rickey says of her still life paintings. "I like to juxtapose things that don't go together," she further explains. This includes placing a figure in a still life, as she does in "Frankenstein Meets Daffodils," in which a Frankenstein doll sits in edgy accompaniment to the more usual stuff of still lifes. Rickey is clearly attracted to contrasts and uses them very effectively. She creates energy and movement through combining round and rectangular shapes; and with contrasting colors, which "make the objects pop." She creates whimsy by including birds and a reference to the famous painting of Madam X in the same work.

Rickey also states that she is "looking for the poetry of ordinary objects." Photographer Denis Macrae sees in her work, "a sense of absurdity and composition that reminds me of Magreet."

"Toothless Vampire, a print of a pen and ink drawing," is Geoff Rawling's 'tribute' to a slightly senile creature of the night. The art of Carol Rickey, Rawling and eight other artists will be on view in "A Funny Thing …" through November 2.

New Writers Group: RAA is inaugurating its very own writers group. All are invited, and all are invited to invite anyone they think would be interested, to sTudio 6 on Sunday, October 26 at 4 p.m. for the group's first meeting. Whether you are a published professional, a dedicated dabbler or an interested observer of the writing life, you are welcomed. The general direction, outline and future projects of the group will be discussed. And you'll be making RAA history.

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

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