2012-04-13 / Columnists

From The Artist Studio

Final Weekend ‘Blue Hues’/‘Lights, Camera ... ’; Art Class News
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein


“Alive N Kickin’” by Geoff Rawling, on view at Thai Rock restaurant. “Alive N Kickin’” by Geoff Rawling, on view at Thai Rock restaurant. The first Rockaway Artists Alliance Open Town Hall Meeting was a productive and informative forum at which members and non-members were able to ask questions, and address issues and concerns openly and freely and have them answered by board officers and committee chairs. The tone was set early by RAA President Tony Cursio who welcomed inquiries, comments and suggestions from the membership and the community, recognizing how essential this process is to the health of an organization.

To begin the meeting, officers and committee heads reported on the latest status of a variety of projects of the organization and on exciting avenues being pursued. Topics included the identification and pursuit of funding sources; the latest progress in the development and maintenance of RAA’s gallery, studio and education spaces in sTudio 6, sTudio 7 (now divided into the Central Gallery, the West Gallery and the East Gallery and coming closer and closer to the original grand vision for that building) and Building T-149 in Fort Tilden; the growing relationship between RAA and Gateway National Recreation Area/NPS; the widely admired children’s education program; the expanded opportunities for artists, writers, singers, dancers, actors, etc., etc., etc. under the RAA umbrella; the development of programs to bring the healing and therapeutic powers of art to the community in seemingly limitless permutations; the expanding adult art education programs. Accompanying these presentations was a healthy give and take discussion among those hosting the meeting and those attending involving suggested methods to improve the ways RAA serves, informs and is responsive to members and the public. The open town hall type meeting was a valuable means of educating the organization’s membership, the community and the RAA leadership. More forums like this are planned by the RAA board of directors – at least two a year.

Volunteers are always invited to bring their skills and fresh ideas to help bring art into the community and the community to the arts.

RAA’s adult arts education program is an ever-evolving, ever-dynamic process. Mario Tucci, a highly credentialed artist and instructor, is now teaching Tuesday evening (8-10 p.m.) and Thursday morning (10 a.m.-12 p.m.) painting classes, in sTudio 7, and by all accounts, students are quite pleased with Mr. Tucci. New as a formal class at RAA is “Figure Drawing” with instructor Leigh Walls, taught 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday evening in sTudio 7, in a different space in the building.

RAA is establishing Friday evenings in sTudio 7 as a dynamic, yet relaxed setting, providing an Open Studio Night for members only, 7- 10 p.m., where artists, beginners to experienced, bring their own projects to work on, learning from each other. Friday evening is also becoming a venue for rotating workshops featuring a variety of instructors.

Two exhibits from former RAA president Geoff Rawling. The first, “Rockaway’s Musical Originals,” is this weekend at Thai Rock Restaurant on Beach 92 Street and the bay. Since January, the artist has been painting musicians and patrons (maybe you?) “live” every Friday and Saturday night at the venue.

Some 40 paintings and personalized prints are on view Saturday, April 14, 6-10 p.m. and Sunday, April 15, 2-8 p.m. “A Floating Experience” is on view at Pier 59, Chelsea on West 17 Street on the Hudson River. Reception is Saturday, April 28, 4-10 p.m. The exhibit is also open Sunday, April 29, 2-8 p.m. Come aboard for an interactive multimedia arts event. The dockside luxury gallery will display artwork by Rawling and William Feig. Live music from Gary Russo, Apryl and Monica, Indaculture and others; live dance from the Thai Contemporary Dance Group and Cypher Cyndikit B Boy Crew. Culinary delights by Thai Rock. geoffrawling@gmail.com; www.geoffraw ling.com;

Every night, 8-11 p.m. through June: Apryl Nebozenko, Monica Dizozza, Gary Russo – Cole Porter to Carol King to Russo’s signature Sinatra tunes. RAA CONTACT INFO:

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

Fort Tilden Highlights

PRESENT RAA EXHIBITS: “Blue Hues” and “Lights, Camera, Action!” in sTudio 7 Gallery, RoCA (Rockaway Center for Arts) at Fort Tilden. On view through Apr. 15. Gallery hrs: Sat. and Sun., 12-4 p.m. and by appointment. Free admission.

NEXT WRITERS GROUP EVENT: Sun., Apr., 15, 1-3 p.m., sTudio 7 gallery, RoCA at Fort Tilden.

PAINTING CLASSES FOR ADULTS: Instructor: Mario Tucci. Tues. 8-10 p.m., Thurs. 10 a.m.-12 noon. sTudio 7. Beginners to experienced artists are welcome. Fee per class: members: $20; non-members: $30. Supplies included. See column.

FIGURE DRAWING: Tues., 7-9 p.m., sTudio 7. Fees: see above. Instructor: Leigh Walls. Supplies included. See column.

BEGINNER MOSAIC: Starts Apr. 20; 4 weeks; Fridays, 7-9 p.m. Fee: $30/class. Supplies included. For all classes, contact RAA office for info.

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