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Roosevelt Island Artists Display Works in 'Mainland' Gallery

By DNAinfo Staff on February 12, 2013 7:03am

UPPER EAST SIDE — Offshore art has hit mainland Manhattan.

The Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association — RIVAA — is showing off its paintings, drawings, and photographs at the Upper East Side's Stonehenge-Luce Nonprofit Space at 1149 Second Ave.

There are approximately 45 pieces for sale until Feb. 16, organizers said.

Prices range from $100 to $1500, they said.

This is the first time that RIVAA has shown off works in the Nonprofit Space since it opened in January, said Jim Luce, a philanthropist who runs the venue as part of the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation's social advocacy mission.

Piotr Olszewski, who's displaying digital photos in the exhibition, hopes the show will prompt people to think of Roosevelt Island as a bohemian enclave.

"We were thinking and talking about this 'island of art' idea — to make Roosevelt Island an island of galleries and hapenings and artists and all these events," said Olszewski, 54.

"In the past, people thought it was a place for prisoners, for hospitals, for old people, and for sick people — and now it can be for artistic people — crazy-in-a-good-way people."

Stonehenge Partners, which manages the building in which the space is located, has given the Foundation use of the space for free — so more art shows and at cost event rentals for non-profits are in the works, Luce said.

Olszewski said Stonehenge-Luce provides excellent exposure for sometimes overlooked Roosevelt Island artitsts.

"It's fantastic!" Olszewski, who now lives in New Jersey but is still heavily involved in the Association, said. "Manhattan is usually so competitive and so difficult for organizing shows. But this spot is perfect."

Luce, himself a Roosevelt Island resident, said he hopes the show will spur cultural exchange in the community and attract attention to the space.

"The RIVAA group show is to share with their neighbors on the Upper East Side the width and breadth of artistic expression and to create a dialogue for supporting the arts," said Luce, 53.