QUEENS — At the borough's only national park, artwork showcasing interpretations of Fort Tilden's history is on display at a new exhibit that opens Saturday.
It was partially funded with a $20,000 grant from NPS and the National Endowment of the Arts to honor their anniversaries, with the NEA celebrating 50 years of helping artists around the country.
Fort Tilden, which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, has a rich history in the peninsula's development and its natural habitat.
The RAA wanted to explore the nature of the area's habitat with its themes — inviting painters to focus on the subjects of aviation and "pollination," organizers said.
"This life cycle of native botany, birds and insects that use a geographic area for migration, food, and breeding is often referred to as a pollinator cycle," they wrote in their call for artists.
Artist John Hedderson, who spent summers in nearby Roxbury, was inspired by Michaelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" and incorporated a pollination theme.
Two brightly-painted bees are on God and Adam's fingers as they touch along Jamaica Bay, with the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge in the background.
"It can be interpreted as God giving man bees," he said.
Since Hurricane Sandy, the landscape of Fort Tilden has been changed by invasive plants, something the NPS has tried to combat, according to the RAA.
Other paintings include lifelike depictions of Robert Moses, the controversial master builder who created Jacob Riis Park; and artist Christopher Cardinale's mural showing the refugees from the Fujian province in China whose boat, the Golden Venture, ran aground in 1993, steps from the gallery.
The show opens Saturday with a reception from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m., and runs throughout the summer.