2013-12-20 / Columnists

From The Artist Studio

By Susan Hartenstein

“Peppers,” by Larry Gray, color photography. One of the artworks in “Gifted,” an RAA member holiday exhibit on view through January 19th in sTudio 7 Gallery, Fort Tilden. “Peppers,” by Larry Gray, color photography. One of the artworks in “Gifted,” an RAA member holiday exhibit on view through January 19th in sTudio 7 Gallery, Fort Tilden. Fort Tilden Highlights


“Gifted,” RAA member exhibit. Through January 19th, sTudio 7 Gallery, Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) at Fort Tilden. Gallery hours: Saturday and Sunday 12-4 p.m. and by appointment. Admission is free to all events.

NEXT RAA WRITERS GROUP MEETING: Sunday, Dec. 22nd, 4-6 p.m., sTudio 7.

Innovative Theater Workshops – Children; An Arts/Fine Crafts Fair

Rockaway Artists Alliance has been a home and haven for artists of many kinds – visual, literary, musical, dance and more. Those artists have returned the favor many times in our RAA family. When Sandy made it impossible for the RAA Writers Group to hold its meetings in Fort Tilden, Jerry and Beverly Gillia, members of the literary group, opened their home and their hearts to hold the meetings. Jerry died peacefully on December 7th, after a long illness, surrounded by family. Jerry was a very courageous person, and so is Beverly. He was also a talented writer. I didn’t know Jerry for very long, unfortunately. But sometimes the strength of a person’s soul creates an indefinable link to others. Jerry will be missed by those who knew him only for a short time and those who were lucky to know him for longer.

The “Gifted” opening reception/- December general meeting/holiday party/ re-elected board member bris was a successful affair. (And, by the way, congratulations for making the cut.) Mazel tov to the new officers, Vice President Sophia Skeans; Treasurer Clifford Baumann; and Secretary Ross Radusky, who moved over from the Treasurer’s chair. Congrats to returning board member Christian Le Gars and new board members Amanda Francin and Shelly Ginnis.

As I have said, RAA has been a haven for artists – encouraging, welcoming, providing opportunities and classes for artists of all stripes and levels of experience.

This year many artists new to RAA have started exhibiting their work with us, enriching an already vibrant roster of talented individuals.

Before writing a bit about the visual artists in the exhibit, I want to recognize the extraordinary musicians who live and/or play in Rockaway, many of whom have been invited into the galleries and performance spaces of RAA in the Rockaway Center for the Arts in Fort Tilden.

Monday night’s reception was made even more special by the musicians who ‘wowed the house’ with their acoustic blues on the stage of sTudio 7 Gallery. They included Paul McKenzie on lead guitar and mandolin, Guy Nevirs on acoustic guitar, Charlie Wolfe on harmonica, Lou Diantoni on piano and John Simonelli replacing Guy for a time on guitar. Also joining in just for fun was Kevin Callaghan on the tin whistle and even drums.

“Gifted” showcases, exclusively, the work of RAA members. The exhibit will be on view through January 19th, so there is the opportunity for you to find a special gift(s) for those to whom you wish to give something more than just the ordinary. I have become acutely aware of late of the colors of sunrise and sunset. The works of Laurence Van Oliver and Victoria Barber beautifully express those colors.

And then there are the sumptuous pastels of Linda Kelly. Larry Gray presents a luscious, painterly photograph, “Peppers.” “Hot Rod” purifies industrial design to the abstract. Maryann McEvoy’s quilt work, “Cushion Flowers,” is a lovely piece of fabric art.

There is so much more to enjoy in “Gifted.” Take the trip up to Fort Tilden one of these weekends. In case you think there are no colors to enjoy in a winter landscape, think again. Oh, those rich, vibrant umbers and sienna’s.

Innovative New Theater Workshops for Children:

January 4th-February 8th, 2014;
Saturdays, 6 sessions:
Intro to Musical Theater: Age: 6 – 8,
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., $90
Intro to Acting: Age: 6 – 8, 10:30 a.m.
- 11:30 a.m., $ 90
Intro to Acting: Age: 9 – 12, 12:00
p.m. - 1:30 p.m. (90 min.), $120
January 7 to February 11, 2014
Tuesdays, 6 Sessions
Intro to Musical Theater: Age:
9 – 12, 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (90 min.),
Contact the RAA office to sign up.

RAA will present an Arts and Fine Crafts Fair, October 11th and 12th, 2014. The location will either be in and around sTudio7 Gallery, or in Riis Park. The entries will be juried. Brochures will go out around the end of January. Watch this column and the RAA website for the latest.

RAA Contact Info:

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

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