2009-09-18 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

ARTSPLASH Awards
Commmentary by Susan Hartenstein

"Untitled," by Arthur Skowron, winner of award for Best Oil in ARTSPLASH/InkSplash, now on view at sTudio 6 and sTudio 7, RoCA at Fort Tilden. "Untitled," by Arthur Skowron, winner of award for Best Oil in ARTSPLASH/InkSplash, now on view at sTudio 6 and sTudio 7, RoCA at Fort Tilden. Rockaway Artists Alliance

One of the finest ARTSPLASH festivals to date has opened at the Rockaway Center for the Arts in Fort Tilden and continues through Sunday, October 11. InkSplash, an exhibition of work by 10 master printmakers that is featured in ARTSPLASH, continues through November 1. So impressive, so overwhelming is the quality of work in InkSplash, it deserves an entire column of its own. For that you must wait a week. Suffice it to say, kudos to Christian Le Gars, the show's curator and one of its participants; and to Le Gars and artist Yuri Yurov for mounting the artworks in a manner that presents each one as a gem and all as a brilliant diamond cluster.

Luckily, the public will be able to get an intimate insight into the prints, the printmakers and the printmaking process on two weekends in October. On Saturday, October 3 the 10 participants will give a presentation in which they will discuss their works and the varied technical processes they used to create them. Just as the traditions reach far back into history, printmaking is a constantly evolving art form that allows the artist ever-multiplying potential for growth and diversity.

On a second weekend in October to be announced, master printmaker Elizabeth Harington will hold a workshop on basic printmaking techniques. Watch this column for dates and times.

Awards were given to ten artists in ARTSPLASH. RAA expresses its appreciation to Charlotta Kotik, Curator Amerita of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, for judging those awards. The choices must have been difficult to make, considering the high quality of work in the show. Kudos for the beauty of this exhibit go to curator Janet Dever and to Tommy Burke, Adam McLoughlin and Geoff Rawling who mounted the show. The delicious treats and musical sounds of the very well attended opening reception Sunday were thanks to the excellent job done by the RAA Exhibitions Committee.

Best of Show went to Yuri Yurov for "Turtles," oil on canvas. Displaying his usual mastery, Yurov uses a dazzling repertoire of techniques and materials in this piece. Incorporating mythical symbolism, the expansive work is complex, emotionally and intellectually layered and viscerally charged.

Penelope Atheras' "Till Next Fall," Best Acrylic, is a subtle, appropriately peaceful yet playful anticipation of the passage of time. "Sun Lit Visions" was Best in Watercolor by Madeline Braisted. Expressing a shining glass vase and the flowers it holds, the entire piece is infused with the gleaming warmth and light of the sun. Tommy Burke's mixed media Best Conceptual winner, "Hide Behind Your Music," is humorous and impishly enticing. Raina Dziuk was awarded Best Mixed Media for "Self-Portrait," a bold statement of self without pretense or ego. It is articulately composed, making brilliant use of large areas of black and white, and a counterpointed border of subtle dots, moving the eye across the surface, yet riveting the viewer to the subject.

Best Sculpture went to Adam McLoughlin and "Prototype." Mc- Loughlin's sculptures are 'industrial,' masculine, fraught with overtones and powerful in concept and structure. "Reflections," a Polaroid emulsion transfer by Daniela Sessa that was Best Graphic Arts, is graceful, ethereal, textured. A light shines out from within it. Winner for Best Photography, Stephanie Schmidt's "Ocean I" captures its subject for all lovers of a misty ocean. Best Oil to Arthur Skowron's "Untitled." Haunting; desolation; limitless; subtle; mesmerizing; skillfully executed; perhaps, inner portrait as seascape. Matthew Petagna earned the Merit Award for "Crazy Cat Lady." Inspiration comes in many forms. I can't think of a better one than the Simpsons.

When you visit ARTSPLASH, make sure you register your choice for the Viewer's Choice Award, which will be given on the last day of the exhibit (October 11). That day will also see the completion of the Fundraiser Auction and RAA's annual Picnic/Barbeque.

ARTSPLASH will feature live performances on its indoor and outdoor stages. Partial schedule:

Saturday, October 3: dancers Mari Meade Montoya, Breanna Gribble, Amanda Hinchley. The final two Sundays in September: the experimental theater group Dzieci performs "Circus Luna"; and an ensemble interactive opera group. Sunday, October 4 at 1:30 p.m.: the RAA Writers Group presents prose, poetry, plays, etc. performed by the writers and guest actors. Dates and times will be posted in this column and the RAA website: www.rockawayartistsalliance. org.

CU@RoCA

RAA contact info: phone: 718- 474-0861;email: rockart116@aol.com; fax: 718-474-4373; office address: 260 Beach 116 Street/Rockaway Park, NY 11694; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance. org'

kidsmART corner

The RAA is happy to announce the return of the kidsmART afterschool program, which is tentatively scheduled to begin at T-149 in Fort Tilden on Tuesday, October 13 and at PS 104 in Bayswater in early October. Registration details to follow. kidsmART is a free arts based program based on the principles of kindness, imagination, dependability, sensitivity, motivation, acceptance, respect and tolerance. All children between the ages of 6 and 13 are welcome.

Fort Tilden Highlights

ARTSPLASH/InkSplash '09: Multimedia arts festival through Oct. 11, sTudio 7, sTudio 6, RAA stages in RoCA @ Fort Tilden. InkSplash, a printmaking show, on view through Nov. 1 Admission free. Gallery hours: Sat.s 12-4 p.m.; Sun.s 1-4 p.m.; by appointment. Special events to be posted. Admission free to exhibit and special events. See column for details.

ART AUCTION WALL: Special feature of ARTSPLASH in sTudio 7.

SPECIAL EVENTS: Last two Sun.s in Sept.: Dzieci Theatre Troupe performs "Circus Luna"; ensemble interactive opera group. See future columns and RAA website for dates and times of these and future events.

THURS. NIGHT OPEN MIC: Performing artists of all disciplines invited. Sign-up at 7:45 p.m. for 8 p.m. start time.

PAINTING CLASSES FOR ADULTS: Tues. nights, 7-9 p.m.; Thurs. mornings, 10 a.m. - 12 noon. sTudio7, RoCA @ Fort Tilden. $15 per class, supplies included.

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