Friday, August 10, 2018

Roosevelt Island Resident And Artist/Sculptor Victoria Thorson Exhibition Of Wood & Ceramic Sculptures On View At Garrison Art Center - You're Invited To Opening Reception Saturday August 11

Roosevelt Island resident and artist/sculptor Victoria Thorson is presenting an exhibition of her work, BassWood Bodies, at the Garrison Art Center starting with an opening reception, tomorrow August 11. You're invited.

According to this Garrison Arts Center Press Release:

BassWood Bodies
Victoria Thorson
August 11- September 9, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday August 11, 5 - 7 PM
23 Garrison’s Landing Garrison, NY 10524

Garrison Art Center is pleased to present BassWood Bodies, an exhibition of wood and ceramic sculptures by Victoria Thorson. The exhibition will be on view in the Riverside Galleries from August 11 through September 9. There will be an opening reception on Saturday August 11 from 5 to 7 pm, 2018.

Victoria Thorson has been seduced by basswood. Its softness of touch, when smooth, evokes the human body. Starting with lumber or recycled wood, Thorson sees potential shapes and feels her way along the cracks, knots, and grain, following the lines of energy. She carves and refines to create slits of light between masses, and discovers abstract forms to express life’s silences and vibrations. When dressed with colored waxes, her work becomes a song from within. The wood is her partner in a dance with nature.

Alice’s Portal

Thorson’s sculptures tread a line between recognizable form and pure abstraction. The goal is to navigate beyond literal thought to engage, not with a story but enter the cave of the mind where shadows, shapes and spaces are revealed. Her work is often anchored by a repurposed metal industrial find that is the right weight, proportion, and aesthetic to be part of the piece, not a separate base. Most pieces can rotate 360 degrees, or swing out to recompose, while the initial core and plumb line stay intact.

Homage to Mlle P created with knot from same plank as Portal

This exhibition will also feature several ceramics Thorson made at Greenwich House Pottery, where she worked as programs coordinator in the 90s. There Thorson learned from the sculptor Peter Gourfain to sharpen a wood tool and cut clear planes when the clay was right to the touch. Since 2000, Thorson has brought her fluid form-language from clay to wood.
Thorson studied at the National Academy of Design with figurative sculptor Bruno Lucchesi and at the Art Student League. Thorson started by modeling the figure in clay and practicing anatomy drawing. Later, Thorson’s study with Peter Gourfain was marked by an increasing pull toward idiosyncratic figurative abstraction. For her transition to minimalistic but precise forms in wood, Thorson says she owes a debt to the rough cuts and technical support of the Salt Lake City cabinetmaker Wally Johnson, and since 2009 to James Murray, the Hudson Valley sculptor and wood maestro, who is also a teaching artist for Garrison Art Center.

Also a PhD art historian, Thorson taught art history at Oakland University in Michigan and at the University of Southern California. She worked at MoMA where she uncovered the fake drawings of Auguste Rodin. Art history jobs ranged from project director, editor, and essay writer for Great Drawings of All Time: The Twentieth Century, 1979 to recent contributor to the Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, 2011 writing the definition and history of Abstract Art.

Thorson’s work moves along the trail of post modernism still unfolding in our time. She writes, “I do not innovate to confront or shock but seek to soothe the human psyche. I create to enter a spirit world. Sculpture occupies our space and is the implicit mirror of the god within. If a viewer incrementally rotates my columns, changing aspects, interaction and flexibility follow.”

BassWood Bodies will be on view in the Riverside Galleries concurrently with abstract paintings and tapestries from artist Melinda Stickney-Gibson. Both exhibitions will be on view at Garrison Art Center from August 11 through September 9, 2018.

Here's a 2010 video of Ms. Thorson describing her work at a Gallery RIVAA exhibition.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - Good News, F Train Service To And From Manhattan - Both Tram Cabins Operating And NYC Ferry Has More RI Service

According to the MTA, there will be Roosevelt Island F Train service

to and from Manhattan this weekend.


STATION ENHANCEMENTS | Until December 2018 57 St F Station is closed
Both Roosevelt Island Tram Cabins are in operation.

There is Roosevelt Island ferry service on the Astoria Route. Here's the new summer schedule for Roosevelt Island ferry service.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Roosevelt Island Outdoor Movie Series At Southpoint Park Showing Marvel Studios Black Panther Friday August 10 - Gorgeous East River Waterfront Views, Food Vendors And A Movie

The fifth in the series of 2018 Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movies at Southpoint Park

Image Of June 22 Outdoor Movie Showing of Wonder Woman at Southpoint Park

takes place Friday August 10, with the showing of Marvel Studios Black Panther.

 According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson: 
The Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series' showing of Black Panther, at Southpoint Park, is set for this Friday at 7 p.m. after being postponed last week due to rain.

The event is being sponsored by Verizon who will donate raffle and game prizes as well as opportunities, at their hospitality booth, to win upgraded home FIOS service and free mobile phones.

Admission is free and pets are welcome in the park. Pre-movie activities include contests and prizes, food vendors; a state-of-the-art sound system, music, and a 40-foot-premium screen.

Food truck vendors including Wafels & Dinges and Sweetface Snoballs will be serving food and snacks for sale.

Visitors are encouraged to arrive early and bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.

The final movie showing in the 2018 Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park Outdoor Movie series is A Wrinkle In Time On August 17.

UPDATE 8/17 - According to RIOC:
The Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series' free screening of "A Wrinkle In Time" at Southpoint Park, has been postponed until Friday, August 24 due to weather forecasts of rain.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Roosevelt Island Drinking Fountain Water Quality Update - NYS Health Department Says Roosevelt Island Water Quality Meet All Applicable Standards Except For Capobianco Park - Currently, Drinking Fountains Will Stay Off But Blackwell Park Tot Lot Splash Area Will Be Turned Back On

As reported July 27:

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Susan Rosenthal reported during the July 23 RIOC Board meeting that preliminary testing of Roosevelt Island water fountains revealed:
... some high levels, higher than EPA allows, of bacteria, not E-Coli, in some of them. One sample had elevated iron levels..

Island drinking water fountains have been shut off since July 6 after RIOC received a report from resident Frank Farance of possible contamination of the water supply to drinking fountains.

Image From Frank Farance
Minutes ago, RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson provided this update:
After reviewing a second round of Roosevelt Island outdoor drinking-fountain water test results, a top New York State health official, in a statement released Tuesday, said the water is up to standard.

“With the exception of Capobianco Park, the review of water quality results - analyzed the second time by a New York State Department of Health Environmental Laboratory Approval Program certified laboratory (Long Island Analytical Laboratory Inc.,) are consistent with the water quality being delivered by the New York City water system and meet all applicable drinking water standards,” said Roger C. Sokol, Ph.D, director of the Division of Environmental Health Protection, NYS Department of Health.

Water test results of two fountains at Capobianco Field showed slightly higher (>738) than normal (500) levels of heterotrophic plate counts which is an indicator of low-chlorine residual. Chlorine is present in all NYC drinking water to reduce bacteria. However, no coliform or E. coli bacteria was found.

Due to citizen concerns raised about water quality in the Island’s drinking fountains, RIOC shut down the water supply systems in all parks and playgrounds on July 6 and conducted testing from 10 different fountains and one splash park location. RIOC conducted two independent tests of the water quality; one each by Healthy Buildings Inc. and Long Island Analytical, a New York State-certified laboratory.

The water samples were analyzed in three different categories: microbiological, inorganic analytes (metals) and physical factors; and included determining the existence of, and or levels of items such as bacteria, chloride, iron, lead and sulfates.

On July 23, RIOC hired a plumbing engineer, Cameron Engineering & Associates of New York, to complete an assessment of all water connection points from NYC water to Island parks’ distribution. Until RIOC receives that report and, if required, drafts a remediation plan, all the drinking water fountains will remain off. However, the NYS Department of Health has advised RIOC that the splash park area, near the tot lot play area at Blackwell Park, can be turned back on.

RIOC is planning to meet with Jeff Escobar, president of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association, and other Island leaders, to discuss the results, answer questions and share potential further remediation plans.
More info at this July 25 post including Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) letter about the possible water contamination of Roosevelt Island drinking fountains and discussion of subject at Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Wow - Gorgeous Photos Of Tonight's Lightening Storm Seen From Roosevelt Island

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse shows us amazing photos of tonight's Lightening Storm

Roosevelt Island Blackwell Park And Al Lewis Park Playgrounds Closing For Renovation August 13 - October 15, New Surface, Fencing & Picnic Tables To Be Installed - New Equipment Planned For Spring 2019

During the July 23 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Meeting (video of full meeting here), RIOC President Susan Rosenthal reported that both Al Lewis playground at Capobianco Field

and Blackwell Park Playground

will close for renovations in August.

RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson adds:
Community Update

The Grandpa Al Lewis Playground, at Capobianco Field, and the Blackwell Park Playground will be closed Aug. 13 - Oct. 15 due to ground surface renovations.

New padded-rubber flooring will replace the existing broken concrete, cracked asphalt and wood-chip ground surfaces. New fencing and picnic tables will also be installed.

The replacement and installation of some new playground equipment for those playgounds is planned for Phase 2 of the project to start in the spring of 2019.

While the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation understands the time concern of the closure, the playgrounds are in desperate need of attention from both equipment and flooring-safety standpoints.

The schedule has been reviewed and this approach timewise was found to be the least impactful due to the ability to complete the total amount of work with one closure, as opposed to staggering.

The time of year for the rubber flooring is also critical, as contractors are not able to pour the rubber material once it reaches a certain temperature in the fall.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

(FYI: The Grandpa Al Lewis Playground is named after an American character actor best known for his role as Count Dracula look-alike "Grandpa", opposite Fred Gwynne's and Yvonne De Carlo's characters, on the CBS television series "The Munsters" from 1964 to 1966 and its subsequent film versions. Mr. Lewis was a Roosevelt Island resident who later in life was also a restaurant owner, political candidate, and radio broadcaster).
UPDATE 8/14 - Correction, the older kids playground in Blackwell Park

 is being renovated, not the toddler playground.

Monday, August 6, 2018

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island National Night Out Against Crime Tuesday Evening August 7 - Come Meet RIOC Public Safety Officers, NYPD 114 Pct Police And Community Emergency Response Team Members At Good Shepherd Plaza

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson reports on National Night Out:

Come out and meet members of Roosevelt Island’s Public Safety Department, the City of New York Police Department and the Community Emergency Response Team this Tuesday evening as part of National Night Out, a nationwide police community relations initiative.

The event, in its third year on Roosevelt Island, will be staged on the Good Shepherd Plaza from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer.

National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. Millions of neighbors take part in the event with police/community rallies, displays, block parties etc. across thousands of communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August.

NBC Television Show The Blacklist Returns To Roosevelt Island This Week To Film Scenes - Action Sequences With Police Vehicles And Equipment Being Used

The Blacklist TV show starring James Spader is returning to film scenes on Roosevelt Island this week.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
The NBC crime-action thriller The Blacklist will be on Roosevelt Island filming scenes for the television series next Monday, Aug. 6 - Friday, Aug. 10.

There will be limited parking on West Loop Road, near the Cornell Tech campus, during this period. Also note, the production company is expected to film several action sequences with actors portraying law enforcement officers, using police vehicles and equipment.