2009-04-24 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

RAA bids a fond farewell to Administrative Assistant Terry Collier. Since 2006 Terry has been a great asset to RAA. Terry's administrative support of the kidsmART after-school and summer camp programs has helped enable the organization to achieve its creative mission while complying with all city and state regulations. All at RAA wish Terry much luck in the future.

The Sunday of the opening reception for the two new RAA exhibits at Fort Tilden provided a bright blue, springfilled backdrop for the delectable, palpable pleasures inside galleries, sTudio 6 and sTudio 7. Upon entering "A Colorful Mix of Quilts and Artwork" one is gloriously accosted by the beauty of the grand art form that is quilt making.

A larger multi-colored piece directly faces the French entry doors. Hanging over the center space of the large gallery like an expansive multi-hued sky are two more patchwork quilts.

On the walls to the right and left of the doors is an array of the countries of the world - cutouts created by artist Chris Preston, who takes humorous license in showing the four corners of the world from whence we have all come. The exhibits are, indeed, part of the city's celebration of Immigrant Heritage Week. The public is encouraged to sign the map on the counties from which they or their ancestors hail.

Further fulfilling this celebration, there is a wall text revealing the countries of origin of the participating artists and/or their families. Quite a melting pot has brought talent to this show. Curated by quilt maker Ludmila Bokov, the quilts and fabric art, paintings, photographs, prints and multi-media works have been arranged to create an integrated flow of color, shapes and textures that result in an exciting unified whole.

For the reception Bokov organized a fashion show featuring splendid wearable art demonstrating that quilt work is not just to throw on the bed or hang from the wall. Showcased were dresses, coats, skirt/capes, hats, headbands, necklaces and bracelets (woven from cotton fabric), jackets and vests created by an international cast of designers, including Bokov, from America, Canada, Russia and Turkey. The fashions incorporated patchwork quilt work, hair ribbons, appliqué, machine embroidery, woolen broadcloth, cotton, leather, metal thread and traditional handmade lace. The clothes were breathtaking. The themes were as diverse as "St. Petersburg Winter" and the architecture of a Middle Eastern city. Three pieces of wearable art by Bokov are also on display in "A Colorful Mix of Quilts and Artwork."In "Wine and Dine" the viewer is surrounded … no, filled in every pore, with the color and textures of food in its sensual, tactile variety.

In "A Few Good Meals" photographer John J. Grillo has arranged about 20 vibrant images he has captured of food dishes that are visually luscious. He has photographed them in a manner that ignites the salivary glands of the onlooker. Grillo has arranged the prints so that they work together as design, as art, as gastronomy. Penelope Atheras, a great chef by the way, in "Quiet Afternoon" bridges an almost surreal transition from the viewer inside a room to a mountainous exterior landscape, by use of a table with food that invites the viewer through the window, across the gap.

RAA needs a new team member. If you're a college student or recent graduate looking to work part-time from May - August, we may have a position for you. We're looking for a quick learning self-starter. The job consists of inputting and maintaining an online database, creating Word Databases, general filing and clerical. This position requires good organization skills, a pleasant, professional manner. Please e-mail resumes and cover letters to: chrisrockart116@aol.com.

RAA CONTACT INFO: Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718-474- 4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol.om; website www.rockawayartistsalliance.org.
Fort Tilden Highlights
EXHIBITIONS: "Wine and Dine" and "Color Mix of Quilts and Artwork," on view through
5-17-09, galleries at RoCA, Fort Tilden.
Gallery hours: Sat. 12-4 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m. and by appointment. sTudio 6, RoCA, Fort
Tilden. Free admission.
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.
CALL TO ARTISTS: "Geometric." Deadline for submission: 4-24-09. Contact RAA office
or visit website for prospectus and entry form.

kidsmART corner
Camp kidsmART families: There
has been confusion with the camp
payment plan. We didn't realize
the first payment was scheduled
during Spring Break. Our apologies.
There will not be any penalties
for lateness in this first payment.
Please have payments in by
Monday, April 27.
Please note, the next payment is
due May 15, 2009. Any payments
received later than that will
accrue a $25 late fee.
Pick up your camp registration
packets on Thurs. 4/30, 6:30 - 8
p.m. and Sat. 5/2, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
in Building T-149 in Fort Tilden.
kidsmART After-School Program:
The Final Week in Fort Tilden -
Tues. 4/28 and Thurs. 4/30. PS
104Q - Mon - Wed through June
17 (excluding school holidays)

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