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About us


Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) has a membership of over thirty-five artists dedicated to establishing a gallery and art center in a unique island location on the East River in New York, bridging Manhattan and Long Island City.

In May 2001, the Roosevelt Island Artists Association organized the “Art Frenzy” exhibition in association with PS1, Queens Council for the Arts, LIC Business Corp, Socrates Park and the Noguchi Museum. The success of this group art exhibition inspired the founding of RIVAA in June of 2001. The Board of Directors included Arline Jacoby as President, Esther Cohen and Tadeusz Sudol as Vice Presidents, Harry Small as Treasurer, and Philip Groner as Legal Council. RIVAA Gallery opened in the center of Main Street in the Rivercross complex, with space and a grant provided by Roosevelt Island Operating Cooperation (RIOC). The support of the community along with the hard work and dedication of the founding members and of the ethnically diverse group of artist members brought the gallery to fruition. The grand opening took place in March 2002, with a members’ group exhibition, “Vernissage1”.

Exhibition space is also provided to RIVAA artists by the Octagon Gallery located in the Octagon Building in Lighthouse Park on Roosevelt Island. Group and solo exhibitions run continuously at both RIVAA Gallery and the Octagon Gallery throughout the year, featuring work of RIVAA members and international guest artists - painters, sculptors, photographers, computer artists, graphic designers, ceramists and installation artists.


Membership to RIVAA is open through a juried process to local artists willing to share their time and talent to continue the trend of excellence and professional quality as an established community art gallery and cultural center for the arts. RIVAA is dedicated to promote Roosevelt Island as the “Island of Art” link between Manhattan and Long Island City.

RIVAA supports the community in its efforts to enhance cultural development and collaborates in educational events to promote public involvement through the arts. Members volunteer art activities; including portrait sessions at “Roosevelt Island Day” and outdoor art for “Fall for the Arts” annual festivals. Musical performances, theatre, dance, book signings and poetry readings by talented professionals and various community gatherings are hosted on a continual basis by RIVAA Gallery.



  • “Fall for the Arts” annual festival -RIOC

  • “Fast Trash: Roosevelt Island’s Pneumatic Tubes and the Future of Cities" -RIOC

  • “Art from the Heart” -Coler and Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing

  • “Connecting Islands and Generations: The Queensboro Bridge at 100” and “Past and Present” -Roosevelt Island Historical Society

  • “Real People, Realizing Potential” -QCP, UCP, and Cerebral Palsy Association of New York State

  • “Coming to Light – the Louis I. Kahn Monument to Franklin D. Roosevelt” -The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture -The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

  • “Southpoint – from Ruin to Renovation” -The Roosevelt Island Universal Art Center competition with Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) and The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

  • “Island Schools of Art” -Roosevelt Island Schools

  • “Art Frenzy” -BEACON PROGRAM, In association with (ART-LOOP) PS 1, Queens Council for the Arts, Long Island City Business Corporation, Socrates Park and Noguchi Museum

  • “Emerging Sculptors”, NYC Sculpture Center” (a 6-year revolving Exhibition at Motorgate Park – the bridge house of Roosevelt Island)


Catherine Kim - President

Jim Pignetti - Vice President

Ioan Popoiu - Vice President

Laura Hussey - Secretary

Saundra Lamb - Treasurer

Toshiko Kitano Groner

Tiko El Outa

Amazia Thompson

Tony Vita

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