2010-04-02 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Watercolor Dates; RAA Facebook; Jacob Who?
Rockaway Artists Alliance
Commentary By Susan Hartenstein

From “To Our Idols” exhibit: Sir Paul McCartney and Me.” Photograph by Dan Guarino. From “To Our Idols” exhibit: Sir Paul McCartney and Me.” Photograph by Dan Guarino. Experiencing Watercolor with Robert Bainbridge is a new class for adults that will run consecutive Wednesdays from April 7 through April 28, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. in sTudio 6, RoCA, Fort Tilden. There are spots still open in the class. You must call the RAA office now to reserve a spot.

Classes to be offered by RAA to children are:

Guitar for Kids and Click! Digital Photography. Call the RAA office or refer to the last two columns for details.

Rockaway will be a part of the Seventh Annual Immigrant Heritage Week (IHW) that will run from April 15 to April 21. An initiative of Mayor Bloomberg’s Office, the yearly event honors the vibrant immigrant cultures, heritages and communities from which we all come, in every part of the city. The week includes free family friendly activities, art exhibits, film screenings and walking tours in all five boroughs and will reflect the diversity of the immigrant communities in NYC.

Two events in Rockaway’s part of Gateway National Recreation Area will contribute to the celebration:

1) The Jacob Riis Bust Dedication is Saturday, April 17, 1-4 p.m. in Jacob Riis Park, GNRA.

2) RAA’s opening reception for “40 Shades of Green,” Sunday, April 18, 12 – 4 p.m. in sTudio 7, RoCA. The exhibit colorfully explores the many variations of the hue mixed from blue and yellow. But it also rejoices equally in the concepts of re-use, renewal and all things recyclable. Not bad for a spring exhibit in the park.

The gallery will feature a giant wallsized, map of the world, hand-crafted by artist Chris Preston, upon which artists and visitors will be invited to make their mark (literally) and proclaim their point of origin, whether that journey was personal or back some generations; whether by plane, boat, automobile or land bridge. As RAA liaison to IHW, Dan Guarino says, “This could be called ‘the four corners of the Earth meet in Rockaway.’ ”

Incorporated into the exhibit opening will be elements of the international and personal immigrant roots of its artists, musicians and visitors.

On Saturday you can celebrate the life of Jacob Riis at the dedication of a new bust by artist David Ostro. More about his event and the sculpture in a later column.

Do you know who Riis was? Jacob August Riis was a Danish American social reformer, muckraking journalist and social documentary photographer who lived from May 3, 1849 – May 26, 1914. He committed these talents to helping the impoverished of New York. A pioneer in the field of photography, he developed techniques that would allow him to record the squalid conditions in the darkest, poorest ‘holes’ of the city, exposing them to the world. Riis worked for the implementation of “model tenements” in New York with the help of humanitarian Lawrence Veiller.

If you wish to learn more about Immigrant Heritage Week, visit: www.nyc.gov/html/imm/html/imm_he ritage/imm_heritage.shtml

How about becoming a fan of RAA’s official Facebook page? The address is Rockaway Artists Alliance Inc. The word is that artists, musicians, enthusiasts, campers, afterschool participants, families and community residents will all love visiting the page and viewing the many archived photos and videos of RAA through the years. It is also the perfect venue for getting up to date information in regard to events, exhibitions, workshops and so much more.


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

Fort Tilden Highlights

PRESENT RAA EXHIBITS: “To Our Idols,” “Bodies of Work” in sTudios 6 and 7, Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) at Fort Tilden. On view through Apr. 3. Free admission. Gallery hrs: Sat. and Sun. 12-4 p.m. and by appointment.

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.

THURS. NIGHT OPEN MIC: Performing artists of all disciplines invited. sTudio 7 stage. Sign-up: 7:45 p.m. Start time: 8 p.m. Join us. Free admission.

kidsmART corner

kidsmART is free to children ages 6 – 12. It runs through May 6. Sessions: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Location: Building T- 149, Fort Tilden. If you are interested, bring the completed application with you on the day you wish to start your child in the after-school program. Applications can be downloaded from RAA’s website at www.rockawayartistsalliance. org/education.html

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