2009-10-16 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

And Visions Of Ghoulies Danced In Her Head
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

Yet another circus freak appearing at this year's RAA Halloween extravaganza. Drawing by Geoff Rawling. Yet another circus freak appearing at this year's RAA Halloween extravaganza. Drawing by Geoff Rawling. And they went Halloweeweeween all the way home.

Oh, good people of Rockaway, can it be? Is it so? Madam Rayah, who has for years now, predicted the exact machinations of one horde of monsters after another that have befallen Fort Tilden at the end of October to threaten the very existence of our fair councilmanic districts, is paralyzed … nay, nearly catatonicized this autumnbling season, by the visions before her disbelieving eyes. This year, who would beieve it, she sees her own kind. Her brothers and sisters under the skin; those fellow inhabitants of the worlds of the carnival and the circus. But, wait! Something is wrong … terribly, horridly wrong. The friendly, redhaired clown has fangs that gleam in the moonlight; the side show's dogfaced boy's bite is worse than his bark; the beautiful, gracious fortuneteller is, in this incarnation, ugly and gnarled and ready to eat small, tender children; the world's oldest man, who used to look surprisingly like Mel Brooks, is wizened and warped, and much the likeness of Bernie Madoff; the fat lady flies into a blood-curdling rage at the mere mention of Kirstie Alley; an Hasidic geek is biting the heads off traife chickens. Tpoy! Oh, the horrors, the murderous ghouls, the tormented and tormenting freaks. The world has gone mad and topsy-turvy. What could this mean? Is it true? Fear not. Madam Rayah will look further into her crystal orbs and let us know.

In the meantime, can you believe their audacity, RAA has put out a Halloween extravaganza (always chilling but family-oriented) call: volunteer ghouls, gals and freaks are needed as guides. Musicians who can play creepy circus/carnival themed music (original material only) are also needed. Meetings are every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in sTudio 7. Donations of materials are also accepted, i.e. large bolts of fabric, canvasses, costumes, masks and building materials. Contact RAA for details.

Call to Artists:

Gifted 2009 - For our final show of the year, RAA invites all members to help shape Gifted 2009 and showcase the very best from our artists. "Gifted," an RAA members-only juried exhibition, is open to all media that include but are not limited to: drawing, mixed media, photography, painting, watercolor, cartoon, video, textile work, poetry and literature, sculpture, dance, music, performance.

Prospectus and entry forms are available online at www.rockawayartistsalliance. org, or you can stop by the office to pick one up at the RAA office: 260 Beach 116 Street, Rockaway Park.

The next Writers Group meeting will be Sunday, October 25 at 4 p.m. in sTudio 6 Gallery, where the wonderful printmaking exhibit, InkSplash, will still be on view. Dan Guarino, chair of the group, informs me that after the group's successful event on October 4, several who attended signed up. That's nice to hear.

Guarino further advises that anyone who is interested in the group should e-mail her/his e-mail address to the office, Attention: Writers Group, so we can add it onto the e-mail list for future information.

ARTSPLASH ended its month-long run in perfect fashion. On Saturday the Martha Cardona Opera Project entertained the audience with what one observer called a "jaw-dropping" performance of excerpts from classic operas - complete with instrumental accompaniment and costumes. This refreshing young company lived up to its fine press and its mission to bring quality opera into the community for no charge. Thanks, Cardona. We are looking forward to the Opera Project's return in December with a performance of an entire opera. Stay tuned.

The big finish on Sunday saw the fundraising auction and the delicious barbeque (thanks to all who brought, cooked, served, cleaned and helped to make yet another beautiful autumn day yet another beautiful art/fun day in the park). It was also the day the votes of the people were counted and the winner of the ARTSPLASH People's Choice Award was named. Congratulations to Madeline Braisted who won the award for her watercolor painting "Sun Lit Visions." The joyous work seems to have sunlight emanating from within.

Also on this day, Chris Preston completed his work-in-progess done especially for ARTSPLASH, "Air Guitar." Inspired by one of the many musicians who have performed on the RAA sTudio 7 stage, the painting is a dazzling mix of color and design. Well done, Chris.


Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718-474- 4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol.com; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org.
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.
Admission free to exhibit and special events.
ART AUCTION WALL: Special feature of ARTSPLASH in sTudio 7.
SPECIAL FREE EVENTS of ARTSPLASH: (see column for details.)
Sat., Oct. 10, 2 p.m., sTudio 7, Martha Cardona Opera Project.
Sun., Oct. 11, 1 p.m. -- early evening: Fundraiser Auction, RAA BBQ/ Picnic
Viewers' Choice Award. (Be sure to vote at the gallery.)
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. sTudio 7, RoCA @ Fort Tilden. $15 per class, supplies included.

kidsmART corner

kidsmART After School program is back!! kidmsART is free to children ages 6-13. Dates: October 13, 2009 - May 6, 2010. Sessions: Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Location: Building T-149, Fort Tilden.

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