2014-04-25 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Music, Music...

“Chelsea Rain,” photography by Jeff Watts. One of the artworks in “Black and White All Over,” now on view in sTudio 7 Gallery in Fort Tilden. “Chelsea Rain,” photography by Jeff Watts. One of the artworks in “Black and White All Over,” now on view in sTudio 7 Gallery in Fort Tilden. Great news for those of you interested in landscape painting! Coastal, Seascape and Landscape Painting class has been extended through June 24. Classes are on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery. RAA members - $20 per class; nonmembers - $30 per class. Instructor: award-winning painter Joseph Perez. Students bring their own supplies. Class members work in the medium of their choice. Presently they are working in oil, acrylic, watercolor and oil pastel, though instruction is specifically geared to oil and acrylic. Check out www.josephperez.org.

Rockaway was treated to a concert in sTudio 7 Gallery on Saturday, April 19 by the duo of mezzo-soprano Christine Free and pianist Jacob Rhodebeck. The talented duo moved easily among contemporary, classical and baroque composers; concert and show tunes. Each work was infused with an equally expressive interpretation by the two performers. Free’s mezzo was wide-ranging and clear as a polished bell. Rhodebeck’s touch on the keys was sharp and decisive; the interpretation was rich and textured. Of particular interest to me were several lieder (songs) by Gustav Mahler, the lyrics of which were poignant and ethereal.

Free and Rhodebeck had nothing but praise for the RAA facilities and the environment of our seaside national park. When the duo first learned about the chance to perform at RAA, Free said she and Rhodebeck “felt it would be a perfect opportunity [in the wake of Sandy] to be present for this community.” Several of the mezzo’s students at the Borough of Manhattan Community College are from Rockaway. Free continued, “We have worked in many different venues; we are counting this as one of our favorites. The acoustics [of sTudio 7] are quite excellent. The breeze rushing through made it feel natural and comfortable in the best possible way – it allowed the voice to be heard in the most organic and natural setting.” In terms of the response from the community audience and the community of artists that attended, “We felt as though we were being welcomed into a truly creative space – with the art on the walls, it felt very natural in that environment [for those in that setting] to be able to create great art.” They, and we, look forward to a time in the near future when the duo will return.

RAA is continually refreshed and renewed by artists who discover our Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) for the first time. “Black and White All Over” and “Chroma” have attracted many artists new to the RAA galleries. Two are Jeff Watts and Emma Indelicato. Their photographs bring their fresh visions to “Black and White All Over.” Watts’ “Chelsea Rain,” through composition and high contrast in his use of light and shade, draws the viewer, visually and emotionally, into a dramatic world of stores, traffic and pedestrians on a rain-soaked city street. We can ‘feel’ the rain and chilling air. The light-outlined silhouettes, verticals, horizontals and whispered diagonals of “Night Moves” create a highly involving design and subtext.

Emma Indelicato’s “Memory” is a portrait of sorts, a ‘capture, ‘of an older man in contemplation. The opened fingers of folded hands in which the head is cradled point the viewer’s eyes to the half-hidden face in contemplation… of what? We are moved to question. What is behind the hands? A smile or a frown. The viewer remains guessing and involved in a ‘long read.’ A ray of back lighting emanating from the upper left heightens the drama.

RAA Contact Info: Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718-474-4373; email: info@raa116.org; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance.orgCU@RoCA.

Fort Tilden Highlights

RECEPTION AND PRESENT EXHIBITS: “Chroma” and “Black and White All Over” will run through June 1, 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.

NEXT RAA WRITERS GROUP MEETING: Sunday, April 27, 4-6 p.m. in sTudio 7 Gallery. Bring your writing to read or be read. Your audience of fellow writers and lovers of good writing will be responsive, creative, helpful and supportive. Or just come to enjoy the work of others … and the artwork in our two present exhibits.

QUINTET OF THE AMERICAS: Performs at sTudio 7 on May 10 at 2 p.m., during the run of “Chroma” and “Black and White All Over.” Their program will include music related to the dynamics of color and black and white. Admission is free. More in a future column.

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