2012-09-14 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Fundraiser WOWS!
By Susan Hartenstein

“Man’s Better Half” by Liorr Karasanti is a 12” x 16” oil on canvas currently hanging in ArtSPLASH. “Man’s Better Half” by Liorr Karasanti is a 12” x 16” oil on canvas currently hanging in ArtSPLASH. “A monumental evening.” That is how John Grillo, photographer and RAA board member for many years, described Saturday’s RAA fundraiser. It was fundraiser organizer Sophia Skeans who set the tone and spirit of the evening and her committee which helped Skeans bring that spirit to fruition.

At its heart, the night was a celebration; a celebration of its past, present and future; a celebration of community; a testament to continuous renewal for RAA; and an anticipation of things to come. Mostly, it was a celebration of all who have contributed over the years and those who will bring RAA into the future.

The entire evening centered around and evidenced those themes. Former board members were invited to the stage, were paid tribute and recognized for their contributions to RAA and its mission of arts, education, culture and community. Longtime members shared tables with newcomers. The tempo and flow of the well-planned yet spontaneous evening were fostered by a well organized team of veteran and young volunteers. ArtSPLASH, RAA’s annual fall arts showcase, hung on the walls. Geoff Rawling, former RAA president and one of the night’s honorees, said he hadn’t been in the gallery for a while and he was not familiar with most of the people in the show; evidence, he commented, of a renewing, thriving RAA that is constantly bringing in new blood, new ideas. The other honorees reflected the organization’s service in education (Carolyn Cryan) and outreach to our park partners (National Park Service Ranger John Daskalakis). The warmth, sharing and mutual respect in sTudio 7 was palpable. Even sTudio 7 is a monument to the progress RAA has made over the past years, going from an abandoned, rough former army warehouse to a welcoming, series of gallery and classroom spaces where the arts can thrive and be passed on to our children.

And everyone had FUN! The entertainment was excellent with singers Apryl Nebozenko, Gary Russo and daughter Kara, comic Sheba Mason and the incomparable Indaculture. The crowd danced, sang along and had a wonderful time.

The fundraiser was dedicated to wood sculptor and RAA treasured member Robin Pogrebitskiy, whose life spirit still inhabits the galleries and spaces of RAA. Many thanks to his family, the Feises and the Pogrebitskiys, for helping to pay him tribute.

The sponsors, volunteers and contributors are too numerous to name in this column. But please know how much you are thanked for your good work. Congratulations to Sophia Skeans whose kindness, generosity and professionalism made Saturday’s fundraiser a success on so many levels; and to co-chair Ross Radusky and the fundraiser committee, the events committee, the RAA staff and board who worked so cooperatively together. Sophia wrote in the program, “It only takes one person to make a difference. All involved with Rockaway Artists Alliance make a difference in the growth of the arts, education, culture and community.”

Renée Radenberg is in a new group show, “The Cauldron,” at New Century Artists, Inc, 530 West 25 Street, Suite 406, NY. The opening is on Saturday, September 15, from 3-6 p.m. The show will run September 11-29, 2012. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Radenberg will have a sculpture and a few mobiles on exhibit.

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RAA CONTACT INFO: Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718-474-4373; e-mail: info@raa116.org; website: www.rockawayartists alliance.org

Fort Tilden Highlights

ArtSPLASH and OPENING RECEPTION: ArtSPLASH dates: through Oct. 7 in the galleries and stages of the Rockaway Center for the Arts, Fort Tilden. Opening reception: Sun., Sept. 16, 12-4 p.m. in sTudio 6 Gallery, RoCA at Fort Tilden. Gallery hrs: Sat. and Sun., 12-4 p.m. and by appointment. Free admission. See column.

UPCOMING: InkSplash, Oct. 20-Nov. 4. See future columns.

PAINTING CLASSES FOR ADULTS: 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.

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

THURS. NIGHT MUSIC/OPEN MIC: Open mic: Artists of all disciplines are invited. sTudio 7 stage, 8 p.m.-12 midnight. Sign-up: 7:45 p.m. Every other Thurs. 9:30-10:15 p.m. a featured musician or group will perform. Join us. Free.

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