RAA Arts Away At Tilden

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 The Rockaway Artists Alliance served up a double dose of art last Sunday, October 23, at Fort Tilden. RAA hosted well-attended opening receptions for its two newest exhibitions, “Portraits” and “Inksplash!” in its T-6 and T-7 Galleries.

Presented in the T-6 Gallery, “Portraits” takes a new look at the age-old genre and how it reflects on the character and the inner lives of both the sitter and artist. Works in a variety of media and diverse approaches explore the artistic boundary of "self" and "other," and challenge preconceived notions of portraiture. Done in a variety of genres and styles, the works run from whimsical to solemn and from almost fantasy painting to photographic realism.

“Portraits” artists include Patricia Battiato, Amanda Christianson, Shannon Dziuk, Dave Foss, Miriam Grossman, Dan Guarino, Margaret Harkin, Lee Ann Lindgren, Lloyd Mitchell, Richella Morgan, Ralph Petagna and Sharon Tiesi. 

In the T-7 Gallery, RAA's annual invitational printmaking exhibition, “Inksplash!” also marks the first anniversary of the RAA Press, the first professional art printmaking studio in Queens. “Inksplash!” features works by many local artists who have attended its Open Studios and workshops and that of printmakers who have contributed to the growing print community at RAA Press. This year the 22-plus artist roster includes master printmakers, innovators and artists discovering the fine art of printmaking.  Their works will showcase such techniques as mono print, relief, solar plate etching, photo transfers and experimental techniques celebrating printmaking in a changing world.

Many of the artists were on hand at Sunday’s receptions, which were free and open to the public. Along with a hundred or so guests, NY1 News reporter Chelsea Katz also came. While covering the dual opening, she also interviewed various RAA members, and got an on-camera demonstration of the printmaking press in action.

“Inksplash!” was organized by the RAA Press Printmaking Studio Committee. According to RAA, this included exhibition curator Christian Le Gars, and RAA Press director Victoria Barber and Melissa Rubin who organized the artist line-up. They noted that RAA’s Jason Novetsky and Esther Grillo hung the entire show and members Jean Lieber, Mercedes Gallese and Neddi Heller “made our gallery and studio sparkle and welcoming.”

Adding a touch of the season, Halloween-themed portraits of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, done on pumpkins by artist Chris Jorge, will be raffled off during the exhibition run. A print by visiting artist Brendan Patrick will be raffled as well. Visitors were also able to fill unique hand-printed bags with candy for a small donation.

“Inksplash!” artists include Carolyn Antonucci-Almeida, Victoria Barber, Faith Edeson, Carmen Frank, Mercedes Gallese, Willa Mae Gilbert, Esther Grillo, John Grillo, Elizabeth Harington, Neddi Heller, Christian Le Gars, Jean Liebner, Luanda Lozano, Jason Novetsky, Brendan Patrick, Renee Radenberg, Deena des Rioux, Susan Rostow, Melissa Rubin, Onnie Strother, Wendy Stefanelli, Dan Welden, Kathy Caraccio and Jenny Zeller.

“Inksplash!” runs to November 13 and “Portraits” will be on view through November 6. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m.

RAA’s annual members exhibition, Gifted, is slated to run from November 19 to December 18. In time for the holidays, it will feature affordable art works for at or under $200.

A retrospective and memorial is also planned for late artist and RAA Board of Directors member John Hedderson. RAA will announce details once plans are finalized.

In addition RAA is seeking artisans, craftpersons, artists and unique, homemade/handmade item vendors for their second Maker’s Marketplace on December 4. For information or to purchase raffles contact RAA at 718-474-0861.

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