2011-05-27 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Belleville De Paris
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein


“Pond,” oil on illustration board, by Ludmila Vaynberg. One of the artworks in “Nature: Fur, Flora and Fauna,” in sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA at Fort Tilden. “Pond,” oil on illustration board, by Ludmila Vaynberg. One of the artworks in “Nature: Fur, Flora and Fauna,” in sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA at Fort Tilden. From our friends at NPS/ Gateway National Recreation Area: Calling Young Artists: If you made a drawing, painting, story or poem about your visit to Gateway, you could be a featured artist at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge! Selected artworks will be displayed in our gallery. Simply bring your creation to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center or mail to: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge - Young Artist/Gateway National Recreation Area/Floyd Bennett Field, Bldg. 69/ Brooklyn NY 11234

The RAA galleries are once again graced by two exhibits for the public to enjoy, free of charge. “Tomorrow’s Art Today” is on display in the sTudio 6 Gallery. You’ll read more about that exhibit in next week’s column. This week I’ll give you a preview of a few of the fine works in “Nature: Fur, Flora and Fauna.”

Ludmila Vaynberg presents a variety of flowers in her oil paintings, each a star in its own painting. As a ground she uses brown-toned illustration board that acts as a middle tone off which the high and low notes (tones) can vibrate. The works, by an artist who is brilliant in whatever medium she chooses, are luminous and fluid.

Maureen McNelis is a talented member of the RAA Writers Group who has created odd, interesting characters. In parallel, the faces and bodies of the ‘characters’ who populate her paintings in this exhibit are odd, interesting, quirky, exaggerated and are set in odd, exaggerated situations. Their ‘off-centeredness’ keeps the viewer wonderfully intrigued and glued to the image. In the glowing oil painting, “Bald Eagle,” and the pen and ink drawings of Stephen Yaeger, one sees the subtle, loving hand of a talented artist in love with nature.

Christian Le Gars has curated or cocurated some of the finest exhibits featured in the RAA galleries. They include InkSplash and InkSplash 2010, and “Glass and Water” and “Glass and Water II,” which he co-curated with Renee Radenberg. Long a respected artist with links to the international art scene, Le Gars is participating in a group show in Belleville, Paris, which is now internationally known as a “hot spot” of contemporary art. The exhibit is part of an open studios event (Portes Ouvertes) being presented by the Ateliers d’Artistes, an organization in Belleville that promotes, protects and encourages local art and artists.

The event runs from May 27 through May 30.

Belleville, on the eastern side of Paris, is emerging as what was Montmartre at the beginning of the 20th century, Chelsea in Manhattan and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, more recently. Still basically a working class and multi-ethnic district of the city, since the 1980s it has become the dynamic, vibrant home of about 10 cutting edge galleries where local and international artists live and work. The cast includes both wellknown and emerging players. The Ateliers d’Artistes was formed in 1989, when the city council wanted to destroy the district, to support the large number of local artists who had moved there, and promote their work collectively with other arts groups, organizing cultural and social events, exhibits, open studios etc. This gallery, like others, provides living as well as studio space. Encompassing many disciplines, the community of artists includes musicians and writers. Street art has also helped to create the district’s own identity. Indeed, the area has become the victim of its own success, as what were once cheap, accessible real estate prices have risen to much higher levels. In the words of English art critic and curator Francesca Gavin, Paris is again a vibrant player in the world of contemporary art and at its heart is Belleville. RAA CONTACT INFO:

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

kidsmART corner

camp kidsmART: July 11-August 18, 2011; Monday-Thursday; new hours are 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Limited number of applications still available. For children who have completed kindergarten through grade 7. For more info including tuition rate contact RAA office. Once your child is registered for camp, camp packets are available at the RAA office.

Fort Tilden Highlights

PRESENT RAA EXHIBITS: “Tomorrow’s Art Today,” is in sTudio 7, Fort Tilden,
RoCA (Rockaway Center for the Arts). It poses the question, What is ‘modern art’
in the 21st century? “Nature: Fur, Flora and Fauna,” in sTudio 6 invites artists to go
wild and au naturel (au really?). Dates: through June 26. Fort Tilden, RoCA (Rockaway Center for the Arts). Gallery hours: Sat. and Sun. 12-4 p.m. and by appointment. Free admission to exhibit, reception and special events.
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.
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.






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