Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Brooklyn Daily Eagle "Artist Choice"

When Artists Choose Favorites, Bay Ridge Gallery Shows Them
by Harold Egeln (, published online 02-09-2011

Valentine’s Show This Sunday

By Harold Egeln
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BAY RIDGE — If artists and photographers were given an opportunity to choose their favorite pieces from their own work, what would they choose?

The answer is on the walls of Gallery 364, Bay Ridge’s first fine-arts gallery showplace and art class space in an historic 1910 limestone house at 364 72nd St. Its latest exhibition and sale, “Artists’ Choice,” lets artists sing, “These are some my favorite things!”

“We wanted to give artists and photographers an opportunity to choose what they consider to be their favorite works. So ‘Artists’ Choice’ is our theme for this show,” said award-winning photographer Georgine Benvenuto, Gallery 364’s founder and owner.

At the recent opening reception, Brooklyn College photography professor Doug Schwab and artist Laura Fantini served as guest judges, choosing the best of the artists’ best.

“There’s a friendly feeling always present and enjoyed at these shows,” said Fantini, who discovered Gallery 364 through a blog. Of the art of judging, Schwab said, “It’s always a hard choice since there are so many marvelous artworks from which to pick.”

Because the best artwork was so difficult to choose, instead of one “Best in Show” award, there were two winners this time, with both artists receiving $150. They were “Dance of Life,” an oil painting on canvas by Downtown Brooklyn artist Hans-Bernd Zimmermann, and “Beyond the Surface of the Glass,” a silver photo print by Anthony Almeida.

There were also three honorable mentions, all large digital photo prints. These were “Free Tibet” by Larry Nicosia, “Exotic Trees” by Scott Weingarten, and “Moonlight,” a woodcut by Rosemarie Gallinari.

“They were given certificates to encourage them to go on to be best in show,” said Benvenuto. She added that all the work was wonderful and superbly varied, with 46 artists and photographers submitting a total of 63 pieces that filled Gallery 364’s walls and rooms in the first-floor art gallery.

The artwork also included winning entries from the last show theme “Nostalgia.” Snacks were provided by Pierre of Circles Bay Ridge restaurant, and music was provided by violinist Annmarie Weisner.

Exhibit visitors, of whom there were many, received free raffle tickets to The Gingerbread Lady by the Ridge Repertory Company, whose star attended the exhibit opening.

The gallery’s next monthly theme show and sale will be “Food,” scheduled to have its opening reception on Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m.

“Artists always find in their artworks what fits our chosen themes. They come through with flying colors every time. It’s really amazing!” said Benvenuto.

‘Love Is’ Children’s Art Show This Sunday

As the heartbeat of Valentine’s Day spreads, the art beat is at Gallery 364 on Sunday, Feb. 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. with “Love Is,” a free show featuring artworks from the new nearby Art Room, a “fun space” for children that opened last year.

The “Love Is” children’s art show is curated by Leigh Jewel Holliday, founder and owner of the Art Room at 8710 Third Ave.

The skills children learn at the Art Roomhelp them to exercise their imaginations, build self-expression and confidence, and learn the fundamentals of painting, drawing, sculpture and mixed media.

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