2010-07-23 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Aviation
By Susan Hartenstein

“November Sunset,” digital color photograph by Marvin Schwartz, on view at “Salute to Rockaway.” “November Sunset,” digital color photograph by Marvin Schwartz, on view at “Salute to Rockaway.” “Come Fly With Me,” the engrossing story of the Golden Age of Aviation at our own Floyd Bennett Field in the 1930s, is a power point program and slide show presented by Bernie Feuer. How many of us are aware that the Rockaway area played a vital and fascinating role in the history of aviation in this country.

“Come Fly With Me” is only the first of a three-part program Feuer has prepared on this local saga. As he researched the history of Riis Park, Jacob Riis and Floyd Bennett Field, Feuer discovered that this was a “gigantic historic area here,” too extensive for just one presentation; that this was a story with three themes. Part II is titled “Mighty Navy Wings.” It documents Naval aviation in the Rockaway area. Where today the Riis Park parking lot is located, during World War I, stood a U.S. Naval Air Station. Feuer reminds me that last year, 2009, was the 90th anniversary of the first transatlantic flight. No, not Lindberg. Three giant Naval seaplanes took off from the Riis Park parking lot (the Naval Air Station). When World War II was on the horizon, Feuer says, the Navy bought Floyd Bennett Field from the city to make that the Naval Air Station, NY.

“Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer” is the story of the Coast Guard and Coast Guard aviation in the Rockaway area, and is the third installment of Feuer’s power point presentations that feature slides of the notable people, places and planes in this local drama.

The “informal,” pot luck reception for RAA’s new exhibit, “Salute to Rockaway” had all the flavor and welcoming spirit of any of our “formal” receptions, thanks to those who contributed the delicious treats that covered the tables of sTudio 7 last Sunday; the talents of the Exhibitions Committee, making everyone feel welcome; the Writers Group presentation showcasing the work of the talented members of the group; the musical entertainment by Dan Guarino; and of course, the extensive artwork lining the walls of the gallery. More about the Writers Group next week.

Included among the highlights of the artwork of “Salute to Rockaway” are the strikingly dramatic black and white photographs of Stephanie Schmidt, made powerful by their heightened bold contrasts and strong compositional designs. Maryann McEvoy’s two charming and colorful quilt wall hangings are Rockawaythemed – a sunny beach scene and the Rockaway bungalows.

Enjoy these works and more. Admission is free. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 12 – 4 p.m. and by appointment. Look us up online for more information about the exhibit and RAA. And Rockaway Artists Alliance, Inc. is on Facebook. Become a fan of the page and stay updated on events, view pictures of artists and their work, see members at their best and friends of Rockaway Artists Alliance.

If you have pictures or videos that you would like to see on Rockaway Artists Alliance, Inc. Facebook page, please forward them to board member John Grillo at Grilloinrock@aol.com, or to the administrative office at info@raa116.org for approval to be posted to the page.

RAA CONTACT INFO:

Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718-474- 4373; e-mail: info@raa116.org; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org Fort Tilden Highlights:

PRESENT EXHIBIT: “Salute to Rockaway.” On view through Sun., Aug. 1in sTudio 7 Gallery, RoCA, Fort Tilden. Gallery hrs: Sat.s and Sun.s 12-4 p.m. and by appointment. See column for more details.

COME FLY WITH ME: Sun., July 25, 1-2:30 p.m. in sTudio 7, Bernie Feuer will do a presentation on the Golden Age of Aviation at Floyd Bennett Field in the 1930s.

NEXT RAA GENERAL MEETING: Mon., Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery. NEXT WRITERS GROUP MEETING: Sun., Aug. 22, 4 p.m. in sTudio 7. PAINTING CLASSES FOR ADULTS: “Painting With Geoff Rawling”: Tues. 7-9 p.m., Thurs. 10 a.m.-12 noon. sTudio 6. $20 per class, supplies included. “Experiencing Watercolor With Bob Bainbridge”: Wed., 7:30-9:30 p.m. sTudio 6. $20 per class or sign up in advance for four consecutive classes in one month for $75 (a $5 value), 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.

THURS. NIGHT YOGA: Free, on Thurs., 7-8 p.m., Yoga With Mary Lou ROCKAWAY THEATRE COMPANY: “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.” July 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 30, 31, Aug. 6, 7 @ 8 p.m.; July 18, 25, Aug. 1 @ 2 p.m. Tix: 718-374-6400; rockawaytheatrecompany. org

kidsmART corner:

camp kidsmART continues at Fort Tilden, Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., through Aug. 12

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