Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Left to right, Chuck Otey, Assemblywoman Janelle Hyer-Spencer, Nostalgia best in show winner Dolores Valenza, and me...Georgine Benvenuto.

‘Nostalgia’ Art Show Brings Back Memories at Gallery 364
by Harold Egeln (edit@brooklyneagle.net), published online 09-03-2010
Theme Shows Highlight Bay Ridge Showcase
By Harold EgelnBrooklyn Daily Eagle

BAY RIDGE — “Nostalgia” is the title of the new show at Gallery 364, the three-year-old fine arts showcase in southwest Brooklyn.
“We believe in giving just a keyword to our artists. Then we see what they come up with in terms of visual art,” said gallery founder and owner Georgine Benvenuto. The professional photographer, whose photos have appeared in this newspaper, houses the gallery on the first floor of her historic brownstone at 364 72nd St.
Themes have included 9/11; Water; Spaces; Love/Desire; Brooklyn Neighborhoods; Moving Pictures and Paintings; and Recycle, Reused, Rescued. The varied themes are highly successful, producing artworks that surprise and delight.
For her work, Benvenuto will be among those honored at the annual Merchants of Third Avenue Pioneer Reception on Oct. 25 at CafĂ© Remy. “We truly appreciate Georgine’s achievement,” said merchants’ group president Bob Howe. “We believe that the entire Kings County arts community should stand up and applaud Gallery 364.”
“She has been a very positive factor in the regrowth of our artistic community in Bay Ridge,” said merchants’ organization marketing director Charles Otey, this newspaper’s Pro Bono Barrister columnist.
The “Nostalgia” opening reception included the popular art competition with guest judge and watercolorist Doug Opalski. The Best In Show $150 grand prize award was a bronze artwork by Dolores Valenza. The two honorable mentions were “Bel Air,” a painting of the 1956 Chevrolet model showing its sweeping tail fins, Jen Bissu; and the “Close Shave” oil painting by Brian Busch.
Among the many delightful artworks, which are also for sale, are “Good Ole Times” by Samuel Staastad showing an old TV Guide, Playboy and a Doors album; and a Coney Island “Wonder Wheel” photograph by Larry Nicosia done in old tintype style.
The exhibit includes “Brooklyn Brownstone in Snow” with full moonlight by painter Robert Padovano; a “Memories” artwork with old photos of 1940s family scenes by John Fitzgerald; a photo collage featuring scraps of old advertisements; and the wondrous “Journey to Ixtlan” painting by Marina Bozin. There is Benvenuto’s “Nostalgia” photo of a scene with an old eggbeater and suitcase, and many more works to be savored.
On Saturday, Sept. 18, Gallery 364 plans its first original movie screening with a full red-carpet treatment. It will be the Bay Ridge public debut screening of Mike Rizzo’s Bay Rizz – The Man for You featuring cameos by local leaders, with hourly showings from 6 to 10 p.m.
Rizzo, who grew up in the Towers of Bay Ridge, adds his latest movie to a growing list about the hometown where he resides. It includes cameos by Councilman Vincent Gentile, Charles Otey and fellow Eagle columnist Tom Kane, among others. They deliver their lines in comedic rap style.
The short movie is entered into this year’s upcoming Coney Island Film Festival. At the screening, the Nostalgia art exhibit will also be on display.
Gallery 364 also provides studio space for art, painting and photography classes. With its community involvement ethos, it has collaborated on projects with the Narrows Botanical Garden, Women Against Violence, the Green Spa and Wellness Center, and the Bay Ridge Greenmarket.

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