2013-04-26 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance – Full Speed Ahead
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein


Serious artists at work! Kids (and a few adults) enjoy the RAA’s Saturday morning children’s art workshops at the- MoMA Dome. Photo by Dan Guarino Serious artists at work! Kids (and a few adults) enjoy the RAA’s Saturday morning children’s art workshops at the- MoMA Dome. Photo by Dan Guarino Rockaway Artists Alliance continues to rebuild from the past and forge a better and brighter future for this organization and for our community.

Latest progress on our Fort Tilden home: RAA has been doing cleanup in our buildings. Last week we took contractors through the buildings so they can give us bids on the work that needs to be done to bring us all back to the Rockaway Center for the Arts in Tilden. As of this writing, we’ve already gotten bids on the HVAC units.

In the meantime we continue to form partnerships with other groups, institutions and agencies to bring our artwork, workshops and educational programs to the public and our membership. Last Saturday there was ‘wall to wall’ RAA at the MoMA PS 1 VW Dome on Beach 94th Street and Shore Front Parkway. In the morning and afternoon children were treated to two workshops for two separate age groups: the first explored the work of Leonardo da Vinci (no Demons, honest); in the second the children used recycled materials to create “rain sticks,” as the Aztecs did, to mimic the soothing sounds of falling rain. In the evening, the Dome welcomed RAA’s Open Mic Night and a number of performers who brought their talents to the weekly RAA event for the first time. They included a bass Dobro player (the Dobro is a resonator guitar with a single inverted resonator, designed by John Dobyera), with which he produced what was described as, exotic and pleasurable music.

RAA is looking forward to its second general meeting at the Dome on Monday, May 13th at 7:30 p.m. There will be a guest presenter. Guest presenters have featured talks and demonstrations about the arts, the community, important social topics and a wide variety of issues of interest to everyone. All are welcome, not only members. Bring your latest artwork, poetry, prose, song, or whatever medium your creative spirit has chosen to express itself.

Heads Up, Exhibiting Artists: RAA and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge will be strengthening their partnership with an RAA exhibit to be presented at the Refuge starting May 19th and continuing for at least a month. The theme: Jamaica Bay, which can include works about Hurricane Sandy. For more details and a full prospectus, watch The Wave and this column, and the RAA website.

The Brooklyn Museum holds many treasures. Located near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the family can make an entire day of it in close proximity. There are few places more breathtaking than the Garden in cherry blossom season. Visit:bbg.org

Two exhibits at the museum are of special interest. “Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui,” on view through August 4th, is a show of extraordinary wood sculptures and fabric like sculptures that have been fashioned from metal by the worldrenowned African artist. Grand, breathtaking, lyrical, flowing, powerful. Anatsui combines traditions from his native Ghana and from Nigeria. The contours of the metal hanging works change with each installation.

For me, John Singer Sargent was one of the three greatest American watercolorists. “John Singer Sargent Watercolors” is an historic exhibit of his works in this medium that, for the first time, combines paintings from the collections of the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. If you are not familiar with Sargent’s work in watercolor, you are in for a grand treat. A special section deconstructs his techniques, according to the latest scientific research, and a video demonstrates those techniques. The exhibit is on view through July 28th. Visit: brooklynmuseum.org

kidsmART Corner: camp kidsmART will be back in Fort Tilden this summer. Workshops for children continue on Saturdays at the Dome. Call RAA for details.

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

Fort Tilden Highlights

NEXT RAA GENERAL MEETING: Monday, May 13th, 7:30 p.m., MoMA PS1 VW Dome, at Beach 94th Street and Shore Front Parkway. Guest presenter. All are welcome. See column.

FILM SCREENING: Saturday, April 27th, 7-9 p.m. at the Dome. Tribeca Film Festival and Rooftop films present “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors,” directed by Sam Fleischner, about an autistic boy from Rockaway Beach who is lost on the subway. Shot in the days leading up to Sandy and completed afterward. Visit momaps1.org for more Dome events.

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