2011-04-01 / Columnists

From The Artist Studio

Stunning Gateway Exhibit; New RAA Exhibits
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

Shee-Laa the Dog Faced Lady, Pedigree Comedy at tonight’s April Fool’s Day fun(d)raiser for RAA. Starting 9 p.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery, RoCA, Fort Tilden. Shee-Laa the Dog Faced Lady, Pedigree Comedy at tonight’s April Fool’s Day fun(d)raiser for RAA. Starting 9 p.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery, RoCA, Fort Tilden. Come join us for an April Fool’s Comedy Night Fun(d)raiser! Starting at 9 p.m. in sTudio 7 on Friday, April 1.

Laughs and good company will be hosted by RAA’s own SheeLaa the Dog Faced Lady.

Comics from across the boroughs will entertain and raise funds for the Rock-away Artists Alliance. Re-member to hire a babysitter. This event is for grown-up audiences. Anyone interested in taking the stage, or needing more information can call 347-752-0954.

Suggested donation.

Please come out and show your support for this valuable organization that does so much to enrich our community.

A Call For Artists: “RAA Miniature Golf Interactive Art Exhibit.”

Visit RAA website or call RAA office for full details.

The most supreme gift from an artist is to uncover the truth – about the subject; about the viewer. In “Focus on Jamaica Bay,” at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center through May 31, landscape and seascape photographer and RAA member Stephanie Schmidt accomplishes this task.

In a perfect marriage of art and environmentalism, “Focus on Jamaica Bay” makes the case more eloquently than any words in a brochure could for the preservation and stewardship of the natural treasures of our national parks.

Through choice of angles and perspectives, composition, the opportune capture of natural lighting and an obvious innate sense of the character, texture and nature of the air, water and earthbound structures around us, Schmidt reveals the majestic power, spirituality, intimate subtleties and interconnectedness of the natural wonders upon which she has aimed her camera.

The camera, in these sixteen spectacular photographs, has primarily been aimed at Gateway National Recreation Area – Fort Tilden, Floyd Bennett Field, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and Breezy Point; some of Schmidt’s favorite places to photograph in New York City.

A lover of the outdoors who lives in Manhattan, Schmidt says, “”Gateway and Jamaica Bay are perfect. I need to be able to look out forever, to see in the distance – so rare in New York.” Four images were taken in other national parks.

Visitors to the local units of Gate-way are familiar with the bayberry bushes and their berries. “Bayberry” exposes the winter face of that plant and the colors of the winter park that has a beauty all its own, and that many don’t expect or look for.

Located as much in the soul of a Gateway beach walker as at the water’s side, a snow-covered, ocean-wind swept brown and raw umber sanded beach lies eloquently under a Prussian and phthalo blue, umber and yellow ochre- swept sky, relieved by the upward flight of beach grasses topping the dunes.

Such is the image in “Snow Beach.” Serving as an anchor to one of the exhibit walls, in “Looking Forward” a jetty of rocks cuts through the water in front of the viewer like the bow of a ship, leading the eye to the pinks and permanent roses of a redemptive sky. In the uncluttered dynamics of black and white, in “Runway,” the expansive painted number 4 acts like an unrelenting arrow on a Floyd Bennett runway, leading the eye of the viewer to a distant horizon. In “Revelation,” a breathtaking image brilliantly photographed in Zion National Park, snowstorm-dark clouds hang over the hypnotically, poetically dark abyss of shadowed, silhouetted mountain rocks, awarded surprising redemption only by the brightness of the sunlit rock towers between.

“Focus on Jamaica Bay” will bring art enthusiasts to the refuge who would not otherwise have discovered this treasure in our city; just as art lovers come to the RAA galleries and find, through a variety of RAA programs and exhibits, a world of marshlands, tidal creatures and history they never knew existed surrounding this Queens peninsula. The Visitor Center is a rich resource, for all ages.

As entrance to a world of wetlands, woods and water fowl, it serves as an exciting indoor and outdoor classroom about the history and environment of our area.

It boasts instructive, beautifully rendered panels about the varied animal and plant life of the area; hands-on touchable exhibits, maps and much more. Stephanie Schmidt thanks the U.S. National Park Service for its dedication to protecting our precious natural and historic treasures.


Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718- 474-4373; e-mail: info@raa116.org; website: www.rockawayartistsalli ance.org.

kidsmART corner

The kidsmART After-School Program 2010-2011 is free. Location: Building T-149, Fort Til-den. Dates and times: through April 14, 2011; Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

On-site registration is available. Applications can also be downloaded from RAA’s Website:www.rockawayartistsalliance.org.

For information call RAA at 718-474-0861.

Fort Tilden Highlights

April 9-May 8, opening reception: Apr. 10, 12-4 p.m. “Windows,” Apr. 9-May
8 in sTudio 6, Fort Tilden, RoCA (Rockaway Center for the Arts); “Glass &
Water II,” a collaboration of Brooklyn Watercolor Society and Rockaway
Glass Artists, in sTudio 7. Blending the luminosity and energy of glass with
the transparency and vibrancy of watercolor. Gallery hours: Sat. and Sun.
12-4 p.m. and by appointment.
Free admission to exhibit,
reception and special events.
Tuesdays, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. through Apr. 12 in sTudio 7 Gallery.
To register and for class fees,
please call the RAA office.

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