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ArtFrenzy 2002 comes to the Rockaways

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ArtFrenzy, which showcases the passionate creations of Queens artists, will take place the weekend of June 8 and 9 at the Rockaway Artists’ Alliance headquarters at Fort Tilden, in sTudio 6 and 7. Though the names of the artists and titles of their works weren’t up alongside the works that had already been installed last weekend, artist and RAA member Geoff Rawling graciously explained what was going on.

The diversity of RAA’s artists and guest artists is on full display, and the artists in sTudio 6 include: Mario L. Garcia; John Russo; Lucille Lacey, who creates disturbing computerized photos; Callie Danae Hirsch, who delights in natural forms painted out of colorful tiny bubbles that aren’t quite pointillist; Chris Jorge; LouAnne Arnheiter; Jonas Mlenak; Victor Zinoukhov; Rob and Theresa Ingui, who work with neon light (one of their creations, a green neon plant, was actually stuck in a terra-cotta pot); Jan Nebozenko; Jason Cina, Anthony Padovano; and Clyde Rowe, who contributed a silver bromide photo of the Coney Island boardwalk that has the look of Far Rockaway — the telling detail is that the boardwalk is lined with street lamps. Rockaway’s long and gorgeous boardwalk now lacks them. Penelope Atheras contributed ravishing works of a kabuki actor, a geisha, twins and a lady in a mask made of sequins and glittery beads.

To get from sTudio 6 to sTudio 7, where the juried show is hung, the viewer has to pass RAA’s “Rockaway Moon” outdoor stage, made from a lacy iron arch, paving stones and quirky sculptures that will be used all day during the ArtFrenzy celebrations June 8-9.

sTudio 7 is a great unheated barn but is excellent for all manner of exhibits, especially large sculptures.

Represented in sTudio 7 are Roger Carreau and Jean Jackson, who make African-inspired masks of horseshoe crab shells, Robert Sarnov and Irv Gordon, who contributed photos of snowy landscapes and delicate arches, including a fish-eye view of the Eiffel Tower. Katie Judge contributed “Where’s My ...?,” which shows X-rays of pocketbooks, with the real pocketbooks in a glass case beneath them, beside cards bearing the owner’s name and occupation.

Also on view are works by Christian Le Gars, Nili Ness, Janet Dever , Michael Tubridy, Kevin Callaghan, Belinda Williams-El, Marcia Ruggiano, Cindy Rosen, David Williams, Agnes Martinez, Patricia Grace, Elizabeth Green, Denis Macrae, and M. Elliot Killian.

Perhaps the most charming exhibit is Anne Hourigan’s “My Grandmother’s House.” The artist took photos of tchotkes — cups, figurines, bottles, inkwells and other things — from her grandmother’s modest home in Ireland, mounted them on squares of foam core and Velcroed them to the wall. One doesn’t want to say the exhibit is cute, but it is and very moving.

Esther Grillo has three multimedia exhibits. One is made up of busted, resin-coated umbrellas that the artist stuck to a tapestry showing hunted deer, which represent “the battlefield of life.” Behind the tapestry a rich red brocaded cloth drips to the ground, representing the ebbing of life. Nearby is Rawlings’ own “frenzy piece,” a crazed, unfinished mixed media piece that even includes his old shirts and trousers and will be added to over the days leading up to ArtFrenzy.

In another room in the back of the building is the “Best of Remembrance” exhibit, which memorializes the World Trade Center catastrophe and the Nov. 12 plane crash in Belle Harbor. The photos have a grisly beauty to them. Bryan Bernath’s photo of a burning house shows it silhouetted against a raging wall of flame, while Denis Macrae’s prints show the towers smoking and collapsing from the vantage point of Far Rockaway. Roger Carreau’s photos of the flag against a beach sunset, though not taken in conjunction with the Sept. 11 attacks, have a sorrowful power.

Outside of the exhibit, Rawling showed off Riis landing, where Peter Lundberg from the Connecticut Sculpture Park is working on a ... thing — what looked like the fuselage of a downed plane stuck in sand, frankly, but Rawling assured that it will be transformed into a figure eight by the time of the ArtFrenzy. The concrete that also makes up the “thing” was donated by the Quadrozzi Concrete Corp.

During the ArtFrenzy the studios will be open Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m., and the sculpture garden will be open from dawn to dusk. Other activities will include a children's art exhibit, songs, dance, poetry readings, and a ribbon cutting ceremony for the outdoor stage on Sunday, June 9, at 1 p.m. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall is scheduled to officiate. Admission is free.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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