2010-01-15 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

Opening Reception Sunday
Commentary By Susan Hartenstein

“Iron Workers Connecing a Node,” photograph by Sheila O’Hara – one of the artworks in “Spanning Connections,” which opens this Sunday in Fort Tilden. “Iron Workers Connecing a Node,” photograph by Sheila O’Hara – one of the artworks in “Spanning Connections,” which opens this Sunday in Fort Tilden. The opening reception for “Spanning Connections” is Sunday, January 17, 12 - 3 p.m. in sTudio 6. (Yes, note the new time for opening receptions: 12 noon.) Singer/songwriter/guitarist Mike Benedetto and singer/songwriter/musician John Simonelli entertain.

“Spanning Connections” ushers in a new, exciting entertainment schedule at RAA exhibits. Receptions will see one or two groups or individuals entertaining. Each weekend of the exhibit after that a different group or individual will perform; a particular group will perform for the second weekend of every exhibit; another for the third weekend of every exhibit; etc. All music must be original.

“Spanning Connections” – about bridges, walls, walkways, rainbow bridges, tunnels, underpasses, overpasses, meetings, longings, my bridge, her bridge, our bridge; connections physical, emotional, possible and impossible.

Sheila O’Hara’s photographs capture the heady sweep, grace and musculature of the Brooklyn Bridge and of the ironworkers who tend it. In “NYC Marathon” the breathtaking sweep and grandeur of the lines of the structure, photographed from on high, are contrasted with the multitude of dots traversing it. Ballets of human and steel; choreographies of contrasts. Steel cables as delicate yet strong as spider web threads. A man of steel and the lyrically monumental object of his skills.

“Saturday Night at the Movies” begins on the evening of Saturday, January 23 and runs through the winter. Screenings begin at 8 p.m. For just $2 you will be able to see a terrific film. There will also be a concession stand. January 23 presentation is “The Pope of Greenwich Village.”

“Saturday Night at the Movies” leads into a second annual RAA Film Festival in late May or early June.

Mari Meade Dance Collective, which has performed at sTudio 7 Gallery, and composer Gregory Hoffman will present “Community: Ratio” at Lincoln Center Institute on January 23 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, January 24 at 2 p.m. The free event is in the Clark Theater, in the Rose Building, located at 165 West 65 Street, Manhattan. RSVP to ratio remix@gmail.com

Meade, who is a Fellow at Lincoln Center Institute, is the group’s choreographer and one of its dancers. During ARTSPLASH 2009, RAA audiences were treated to being in on an earlier stage in the development of “Community: Ratio.”

The piece explores, through movement and music, the dynamics of altruism, responsibility and self-assertion in a society.

Winter haiku poetry by Jeffrey Rabkin, “Blue Shadows,” is on display at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel through Sunday, February 28. For information: 718-318-4340; nps.gov/gate/index.htm. Rabkin is a naturalist whose poetry has appeared widely in publications that include the New York Times. “Writing haiku,” says Rabkin, “is a way of paying attention.”

Haiku is a poetic form from Japan. According to the website volweb.utk.edu, Haiku combines form, content and language in a meaningful yet compact structure. Typically, the poems are composed of simple words and grammar.

The most common structure is three short lines.

The first line usually contains five syllables, the second line seven syllables and the third line five syllables. Haiku doesn’t rhyme. It paints an image in the reader’s mind.

The challenge is thus to create the poem’s meaning and imagery in just 17 syllables in three lines. An example given of a Haiku poem is “The Rose” by

Donna Brock:    
The red blossom bends  
And drips its due to the ground.
Like a tear it falls.  


RAA CONTACT INFO: Phone: 718- 474-0861; Fax: 718-474-4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol.com; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org.

Fort Tilden Highlights


OPENING RECEPTION: For “Spanning Connections.” Sun. Jan. 17, 1-3 p.m., sTudio 6, RoCA @ Fort Tilden. Live entertainment and refreshments. Meet the artists. Free admission to reception and exhibit and any special events connected with the exhibit. See column for details.

RAA EXHIBIT: “Spanning Connections” – Reaching, spanning, connecting. Dates: Jan. 16 – Feb. 14, in sTudio 6. Gallery hrs.: Sat. and Sun. 12-4 p.m.

NEXT WRITERS GROUP MEETING: Sun., Jan. 17, sTudio 6, 4 p.m. THURS. NIGHT OPEN MIC: Performing artists of all disciplines invited. 8 p.m. start time. Join us. Free ad mission.

ART CLASSES FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS: Classes include painting, digital photography, singing, acting, cartooning. Call RAA office for details.

PAINTING CLASSES FOR ADULTS: Tues. 7-9 pm., Thurs. 10 a.m.-12 noon. sTudio 7. $15 per class, supplies included.

kidsmART corner

kidsmART is open at PS 104 and at Building T-149 in Fort Tilden on the regular schedules.

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