Article and photos by Piaskowski
Summertime is typically a quiet time for art galleries. Yet Gallery RIVAA (Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association) is busier than ever.
Minimal, Edel Stuehmke’s solo show at the Octagon Gallery which closed on July 31, featured paintings which are sophisticated, serene, and elegant. Her intuitive choice of colors like citrine, light greens, deep blues, and black and white, are juxtaposed with space and line.
After studying at the National Academy and the Art Students’ League, Stuehmke transitioned from realism to abstract expressionism and is currently employing a minimalist style, reminiscent of Diebenkorn but uniquely her own.
Shades of Blue will be at Gallery RIVAA until August 14. This member and guest show cohesively brings together talented, diverse artists, photographers, and sculptors from all backgrounds and styles.
Check out Toshiko Kitano Groner’s Tribute, a larger-than-life apple, divided graphically with subtle and harmonious colors. Ioan Popoiu’s abstract paintings masterfully combine fluorescent colors, patterns, and rhythms. Eunkyoung Park’s Dragon’s Dream is painted in traditional Korean inks on hand-made paper, both beautiful and modern. Victoria Thorson’s Blue Wave ceramic and wood sculptures are thoughtfully created, delicate, refined, and unique.
Gallery RIVAA also holds a Jazz Salon every month. Jazz Salon organizer Susheel Kurien brings together amateur and professional jazz musicians, including jazz artists such as Dan Shlesinger and Ita Weiss, violinist Richard Barbera, singer Allegra Levy and guitarist Andrew Baird. These impromptu, often improvised, performances play standards from the Great American Songbook and often inspire the audience to dance. The most recent Jazz Salon, Tango Nostalgias, was held on July 24. Julio Botti, a Latin Grammy nominee saxophonist, played from his recent album Sax to Tango. The next Jazz Salon is scheduled for August 14 from 4:30- 6:30 pm.
Find Gallery RIVAA at 527 Main Street, the Octagon at 888 Main Street, www.rivaa.com and see RIVAA art and sculpture all over the Island, including Motorgate, the windows at 544 Main Street, and the Blue Dragon at the entrance of Four Freedoms Park. Gallery hours are Wednesdays and Fridays 6:00-9:00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Cornell hours are 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.