2012-06-15 / Community

'A Breath Of Fresh Air' In RAA Gallery

by Susan Hartenstein Special To The Wave

“Flowers,” acrylic painting by Tracey Greene “Flowers,” acrylic painting by Tracey Greene “A breath of fresh air for RAA.” This is how curator Tracey Greene enthusiastically describes the new exhibit in Rockaway Artists Alliance’s sTudio 6 Gallery in Fort Tilden, “Millennials,” which is on view through June 29. Greene wanted to bring a new generation into the galleries of RAA; a generation born in the ’80s and ’90s, all under the age of 30; a generation like no other whose choice in artistic tools is broader and more numerous than ever before, whose taste for experimentation is limitless, but who are schooled in the basics.

Indeed, sTudio 6 Gallery is alive with the energy of youth and their sense of adventure. Predominantly from Rockaway, Breezy Point and Broad Channel, like Greene, several rose through RAA’s kidsmART program, as junior, then senior counselors. Many are now in or have graduated from prestigious art schools like the Fashion Institute of Technology and the School of Visual Arts or are in art programs and graduate programs in a variety of colleges.

“Florence I,” oil on Bristol paper, by Katherine McNamee “Florence I,” oil on Bristol paper, by Katherine McNamee School, say many of the artists, is a perfect venue to learn from teachers and other students and to push the new tools and techniques of selfexpression to their limits … and beyond.

For many of the artists, this is the first time they have exhibited with RAA; for some, the first time exhibiting. RAA Education Director Christine Mullally says, “I’m hoping this becomes a groundbreaking exhibit that continues in years to come, where we open the door for young talent.”

Greene says of “Millennials,” “I’m so proud of it.

Every wall tells a different story; each wall tells so much about the artists, their mediums and their points of view.”

Right, “Mary Poppins” by Samantha Rissmeyer – pastel, heated wax paper, terry cloth Right, “Mary Poppins” by Samantha Rissmeyer – pastel, heated wax paper, terry cloth She adamantly believes that an exhibit like this is needed to show young people, particularly in our community, what they, too, are capable of doing; to inspire them – ‘If they can do this, so can I’ – and to break the stereotyped view of some that all Rockaway youth can do is hang out in bars. In the gallery opening night were many young people who had not been to an exhibit at RAA before. Inspiration at work.

Gallery hours for “Millennials” are Saturday and Sunday 12-4 p.m. and by appointment through June 29. Admission is free.

“Glass Jar,” oil on canvas by Katherine McNamee “Glass Jar,” oil on canvas by Katherine McNamee

“Disparate Youth,” Gabrielle Mangano, photography “Disparate Youth,” Gabrielle Mangano, photography

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