2008-12-05 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

Beach Gallery — New Home For Artists And Artisans
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

"Out of the Fog," by Jessica Schulman. Photography. A piece on view in "Gifted 2008," at sTudio 6 in Fort Tilden. "Out of the Fog," by Jessica Schulman. Photography. A piece on view in "Gifted 2008," at sTudio 6 in Fort Tilden. From the first step into this magical space, one is almost overwhelmed by its exquisite beauty. Rockaway has a new treasure. The Beach Gallery at 114-24 Rockaway Beach Boulevard is an art showcase and gift shop. Indeed, the handmade craftworks of expert artisans more than hold their own with the paintings, sculptures, fine prints and photographs that are their partners in display. Each acts as complement to the other. All are for sale. Most are by Rockaway artists and artisans.

There is a full range of prices and types of items. Many exquisite pieces are at very reasonable prices. To gift them is to give a work of art to someone about whom you care.

Owner Patrick Clark has created a venue in his Sunlites Stained Glass studio that is filled with an ambiance rich in texture, taste and grace.

Many of the works available are of glass, exhibiting the breathtaking, sparkling beauty of the medium. Among them are the most extraordinary hand blown flowers with flowing twisted stems; colorful fish and starfish paperweights of all sizes; ornaments; odd-shaped, unusual bottles; beach glass jewelry and suncatchers; stained glass windows, sidelights and cabinet panels that can be made to order; incredibly shaped and colored decorative pieces in the shape of breaking waves; and more, in as many forms as there are glass artists.

In addition, there are ceramic vases in grand and graceful shapes; natural stone and precious metal jewelry; wood sculpture; alabaster sculpture; hand carved walking sticks; handpulled prints; handmade Rockaway greeting cards; paintings and framed photography reflecting the special beauty of our peninsula. Near the entry door of the gallery is Clark's original model for the Tribute Park WTC Dome, as much an artistic "jewel" as anything surrounding it.

Give yourself the gift of visiting The Beach Gallery, if only to enjoy the work of some of Rockaway's finest artisans and artists, and a few from beyond our shores. But I know you will discover many things to share with those you love, and to give pleasure to yourself. The Beach Gallery hours are: Monday- Friday 9 a.m-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.- 7 p.m., Sunday noon-4 p.m. All major credit cards are accepted.

The RAA Bake-Off of Saturday, November 22 was an enormous success, measured by the turnout and by the extraordinary support shown by all age groups in our community. Sophia Skeans, who organized the event along with Stephanie Bellomo, says that, though there were prizewinners, all who attended, participated and volunteered were winners. She, Bellomo and RAA wish to thank them.

All attendees clamored for more culinary events to be held at RAA. Not only were the foods great-tasting. They were displayed with elegance. All goes to prove the underlying principal of this premiere Bake-Off; this first festival of homemade sweets.

Baking is an art.

Remember that "Gifted 2008," RAA's holiday member exhibition, through December 14 in sTudio 6 Gallery. (See gray box for details.) One of the excellent works in the show is "Red Awnings," a photograph by Ruth Kraiem. Composed of a gray wall background against which are set simple repeating patterns of contrasting triangles and rectangles, the result is an intriguing highly abstract study of shape, value and texture using real world structures.

RAA CONTACT INFO:

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

kidsmART corner

Looking for a great holiday gift for your budding artist?

In 2009, RAA will begin offering Painting and Photography classes for children ages 10-12.

The classes will be held in T-149 (the kidsmART building) in Fort Tilden, Mondays, 4:30 - 6 pm for eight weeks.

Classes will begin on January 26, 2009 and run through March 23, 2009 (Closed February 16, 2009 for Presidents Day). E-mail chrisrockart116 @ aol.com or call the RAA office to register and for information about reasonable tuition rates, the Teaching Artists and more.

RAA is continually accepting inquiries for positions as Junior Counselors and Teaching Artists. Please send resumes to: chrisrockart116@ aol.com.

For questions regarding afterschool programming, please email: marinarockart116@aol.com.

Fort Tilden Highlights

"GIFTED," RAA's holiday member exhibition, is on view through Dec. 14 in sTudio 6, RoCA, Fort Tilden. Gallery hours: Sat. 12-4 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m. and by appointment. Free admission. NEXT GENERAL MEETING: RAA Board of Directors elections; holiday party; grab bag. Monday, December 8, 7:30 p.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery, Fort Tilden. All are welcome. NEXT MEETING OF RAA WRITERS GROUP: Sunday, December 14, 4-6 p.m., sTudio 6, RoCA. 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. FREE THURS. NIGHT MUSIC: Open mic and open stage for performing artists, including spoken word, and scheduled bands every Thurs. night, sTudio 7 stage, RoCA, Fort Tilden.

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