Three exciting events at the Rockaway Artists Alliance

The Rockaway Artists Alliance (RAA) is celebrating not one, not two, but three exciting events at its galleries and stages at the Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) at Fort Tilden.
Not only is it currently showcasing “The Latest From Shannon Elliot,” a highly successful exhibition by the upstate artist in sTudio 6, but RAA is also hosting a colorful costumed pet parade as part of “Planet Animals,” its large, multimedia and varied group show in sTudio 7.
And to celebrate the coming of summer, RAA is conjuring a free music fest featuring musicians of all genres performing on its indoor and outdoor stages.
Both “Planet Animals” and “The Latest From Shannon Elliot” enjoyed well-attended opening receptions, highlighted by provocative artwork, lively conversation, colorful refreshments and live entertainment. On hand were many of the “Planet Animals” artists and of course painter Shannon Elliot.
Elliot reflected on some of the themes represented in her accomplished display of 10 large canvas works. Commenting on these paintings, with such intriguing titles as “Jesse,” “Chronic Healing” and “Blue Dress,” she said, “In order to evoke memory in a piece of art, the artist uses visual metaphors. Objects in a painting might be thought of as touchstones or triggers for memory. Memory is something we cannot see or necessarily understand but it is a rich archive to mine for inspirations in art making.”
Three of her artworks were marked as sold during the opening weekend.
Meanwhile, “Planet Animals” is opening an ark-load of animal images — both surreal and sublime — as depicted in painting, sculpture, installation art and even short film. To get into the spirit of the exhibition, there will be an all-star Pet Parade on Sunday June 10 starting at 2 p.m. on the outdoor Moonstage. Participants can register beforehand at the event itself. There is a $5 entry fee.
RAA member and event co-coordinator Martha Killian said, “Animals and owners can come in costume as they wish. There will be no ‘top dog’- all your pets will be winners! And there’ll be one free hot dog for each animal’s ‘best friend.'”
Then, on Thursday June 21, starting at 7 p.m. the summer concert will be held.
“Seven bands to celebrate the summer solstice — what a concept, ” said RAA president Geoff Rawling when speaking about the free music fest set to mark the true beginning of summer. Popular performers such as Sixthboro and Indaculture, who have brought their versatile talents to previous such events, will be sharing the stage will several other groups and guests and playing music of all types. The RAA invites all to come down and soak in the Rockaway sunset and fresh sea breezes and enjoy some great music.
“And don’t forget, we’ve still got a whole season of the Thursday night Summer Moons entertainment series yet come — you can’t miss that,” said an RAA spokesman.
Gallery hours are Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., Sunday from 1-4 p.m. and by appointment.
Call 718-474-0861, e-mail rockart116@aol.com or visit www.rockawayartistsalliance.org for more information.

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