2009-01-30 / Letters

RAA - A Space To Be

Dear Editor,

Normally, one is used to hearing artists clearly define themselves. "I am a painter," is a common declaration; or "composer," "writer" or perhaps, "musician." Not often does the artistic world embrace the true Renaissance creative spirit by simply allowing the space for an artist to create, that is, to be whatever one chooses at any given time. That is, in most artistic communities, except at the Rockaway Artists Alliance.

Whether it is in a gallery exhibit, or a Thursday evening concert or a Halloween extravaganza, people, all the people of the community, whether old, young and everything in between, are encouraged and afforded many opportunities to express their creativity in whatever media they choose, without being harshly judged.

When you come to a general meeting of the RAA (which is the second Monday of each month), no one is more concerned with what you've done already, or in your "credentials." They are much more interested in the project you may have in mind or what it is you would like to either create or help co-create.

If you have ever been involved with this artistic community, you will encounter a supportive, warm and welcoming artistic embrace. You will watch actors who also read their poetry, musicians who also paint pictures and painters who enjoy acting. One is free to "do it" and "do whatever that is" the best one can.

In its magical space at Fort Tilden National Park, any and all creativity is allowed without the inherent competitiveness or snobbery found in many other artists' colonies.

This is largely due to the President of the Rockaway Artists Alliance,

Geoff Rawling: a modest and completely accessible artist who is greatly

respected by the community at large for his painting and sculpture and who encourages everyone to take part in any discipline. He is always open to every kind of artist collaboration and gives both Rockaway artists who are in full bloom and all the rest of us, a space to be. Please come to the RAA and see for yourself.

MARY NAJEDDINE

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