2014-02-14 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Masses Of Classes
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein


RAA’s Neil McNelis brings a song to Claudette’s. Afterward he and Dan Guarino, left, harmonized on an unrehearsed acappella rendition of ‘Danny Boy’. Photos by Susan Locke. RAA’s Neil McNelis brings a song to Claudette’s. Afterward he and Dan Guarino, left, harmonized on an unrehearsed acappella rendition of ‘Danny Boy’. Photos by Susan Locke. FORT TILDEN HIGHLIGHTS:

PRESENT EXHIBIT: “Mixed Media.” Exhibition dates: February 1st to March 23rd. sTudio 7 Gallery, Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) at Fort Tilden. Gallery hours: Sat. and Sun. 12-4 p.m. and by appointment. Free admission.

On the last evening of January, a special event was held at Cuisine by Claudette, a very special restaurant at 143 Beach 116 Street. One can also get food to take out. The varied menu reflects the international influences that Claudette, the chef and owner, brings to the kitchen. The relaxed ambiance is at once continental and very local, as evidenced by the venue’s European decorative pieces and by the extensive collection of work by local artists that grace the walls.


Poet Sandra Proto of the Rockaway Artists Alliance Writers Group shares her words with a packed audience at Cuisine by Claudette. Poet Sandra Proto of the Rockaway Artists Alliance Writers Group shares her words with a packed audience at Cuisine by Claudette. Claudette invited the RAA Writers Group and musicians into this beautiful venue for an evening of readings of original poetry and prose, music, delicious tastings from the kitchen, and as an unexpected bonus a stand-up comic named Julianna Forlano, who was very funny and quickly established a winning relationship with the ‘crowd.’ The event was a great success, attracting a large, responsive audience.

RAA has been offering adult art classes that have proved to be very successful and popular. Those classes will be offered again, plus a few new ones. For pricing (discounts for RAA members) and registration please call 718-474-0861 or email: jamesrockart116@aol.com

Karl Lorenzen is the instructor for “Watercolor Painting,” on Sundays through March 2nd from 2-4 p.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery, RoCA at Fort Tilden. Coming dates TBA. All levels of ability are welcome. Next column I will discuss Lorenzen’s unique teaching methods and philosophy of art.

Ed Mallon is a published author whose credentials include an MA in Creative Writing and Editing and a BA in English. He has been teaching a successful Creative Writing Workshop for RAA. He will teach another workshop Saturdays March 8th to April 12th, 12:30-2:30 p.m. For beginning, emerging and established writers, what Mallon wants is a group of people who, as he says, “have a passion to write.” The instructor and students work on elements of writing, recognizing what works, what doesn’t work and how to “bring one’s words to life.”

Mallon wants his students “to see with new eyes.” That is, when they read something of quality he wants them to be able to perceive what the writer is doing. He prepares his students “to transition from being it to doing it”— to transition from just thinking about the words to “becoming a creative writer.” Encouraged to “start on their own project, their own journey,” he has them bring in a piece of writing they have started. That piece has been given to the other students a week before the writer brings it into class.

The class, including the instructor, then works as a group. Each student has written his or her own response to the piece, thus encouraging each student again to express him- or herself accurately and precisely in writing. In addition to the overall critique, which is supportive and non-judgmental, the class then does a line by line edit; how to make a sentence more effective. The group is composed of writers who are actively putting their skills into practice. Two are writing a sitcom; one is writing a mystery; another is creating a short story; and another, a memoir.

RAA will offer Basic Digital Photography, Saturdays March 15th- April 5th, 10 a.m.-12 noon, taught by photographer Jessica Schulman. This will concentrate on the very basics of point and shoot photography – nothing fancy. All classes are being taught in sTudio 7. Because of its enormous success, Kevin Kearney’s Wednesday acoustic guitar class has been extended indefinitely. If you register for the full four weeks of any of the courses, you can take advantage of the discount. However, students may also come on a class by class basis, paying at each class.

RAA is looking to the public to suggest classes they would like to see given. In addition, RAA wants to hear proposals from artists and fine crafts people who would like to teach a course.

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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