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Past Exhibitions and Events

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Beginning February 2, 2023 RIVAA Gallery will present work by a diverse group of artists for Black History Month. The exhibition “Essence Créations” focuses on positive and creative expression in the visual arts. Curated by Lorraine Williams, the exhibition includes the Pax Rawanda Embroideries with Juliana Meehan, Andrew Nichols, Ida Owens, Albert Dépas, Mona Coichy Haigler, Aziza and others. We look forward to welcoming you either to our opening reception on February 4, from 6-9 or anytime throughout the exhibition which remains open until February 27, 2023. "Essence Creations" Thursday, February 2, 2023 - Sunday, February 26, 2023 Reception: Saturday, February 4, from 6-9 pm, 2023 Hours: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am -5 pm Wednesday and Friday from 6-9 pm

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Bob Buckley has been drawing and painting for a few years. After some life trauma he had basically given up everything from his mid thirties to his mid fifties. When he and his wife separated he started dating a girl on Roosevelt Island. One day he did a sketch of Rainy Park for his girlfriend and for Christmas and his birthday she gifted him a month of classes at the Art Students League. He has not looked back. He has exhibited in many group shows around New York City. You Can Do This is his first solo show. He tries to start a conversation through his paintings. Hate and Homelessness are real and need to be talked about and dealt with in a positive way. Not all of his work holds a message they are just pretty pictures to get him out of an unhealthy space. Creating is what gives his life purpose.

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The Third Bank of the River (A Terceira Margem do Rio) is a short story by Brazilian writer João Guimarães Rosa. He interpreted the choice of possibility. The bank may not exist in a three-dimensional space, but it may exist in the soul, the will, the inspiration and the spiritual space. It is a dreamland of the soul and a paradise of freedom. Living by the will of the soul, which some people perhaps could not perceive throughout their lives while others spend their whole lives chasing and searching for, is a kind of existential fun and spiritual status. We struggle with reality, but reality sometimes brings us strength. We always believe that the world is tolerant and our tolerance is capacious. Quiet and introverted, Irene Ailin Wang is an artist who was once trapped in life, struggling and shouting in repression, but she never stops seeking a way out. Art is her spiritual home and also the device she uses to find the true essence of life. She employs painting to express her feelings while obtaining calm and comfort during the creative process. At this moment, we are gathered in her art exhibition, reflecting and reviewing with her and searching for that ideal bank together with her. IRENE AILIN WANG Irene Ailin Wang (b. 1992) is a multidisciplinary artist and painter, majoring in Art History and Visual Arts at Columbia University. Her work is a metaphor of elegy and introspection of identity as a female and minority based on her true stories. She had a career in investment and was a visiting student at Yale University. Ailin’s entanglement of media is her metaphor for exploring gender and minority in technologically contemporary patriarchal society. Her work is elegy and introspection of identity to her past. Painting is her primary media, yet the artistic process is fluid back and forth between traditional canvas and e-canvas. The entanglement of opposite media poles is also a metaphor for her experience in a technology dominated by patriarchy and transit to studio art. She sees exploring her identity as walking on the third bank of the river.

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CELEBRATION OF THE 2023 CHINESE NEW YEAR TheBLANC Art Space will be co-hosting a series of festive events with the RIVAA gallery on January 15, 2023. TheBLANC Art Space is committed to the important work of fostering culture exchange and contributing to the richness of the New York art world. The time of the Chinese New Year, unlike other events that take place on a definitive date, varies according to the traditional lunar calendar. It traditionally takes place from New Year’s Eve, the evening preceding the first day of the year to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. Marking the coming of spring, the 2023 festival will usher in the Year of the Rabbit––the fourth cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. The Chinese New Year event would present both the opportunity to generate a sense of belonging and community, and to demonstrate the importance of multicultural expressions of Asian and Asian-American identity through art. The celebration events will be on January 15th, 2023 at 1pm. And here are some of the highlights that will be on stage at Roosevelt Island: 
 Photo booth: We will be displaying backdrops depicting New Year’s scenarios for participants to take photos with. Our staff will wear costumes of rabbits or other symbolic characters for attendees to take photos with. Draw red envelopes: In China, elders will give red envelopes with “lucky money” inside to children with the hope of passing on a year of good fortune and blessings. The red color symbolizes good luck and prosperity in Chinese culture. We will be preparing red envelopes, with random straws for different gifts wrapped inside, for attendees to draw lotteries. And attendees will win the chance for entry by leaving their New Year’s wishes with us. 
 Gift-giving: We will bring postcards, rabbit dolls and spring couplets for participants to take home during the red envelopes lottery session. 
 Lantern making: The rabbit lanterns draw inspiration from Chinese legend, and also as a celebration of the Year of the Rabbit. The craft will be easy to make, and all materials will be provided. 
 Interactive activities: We will provide puppets and toys for lion-dancing that children can play with and take photos with. 
 Showcase of Chinese traditional clothing: Chinese traditional clothing has a long history and humanistic value, which reflects the changes and development of artistic and cultural aesthetics. We specially design a clothing display section for the event and make the audience experience the fun of Chinese traditional culture.

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HOLIDAY SHOW We are pleased to welcome the Roosevelt Island Community to RIVAA Gallery for our annual Holiday Exhibition. Come celebrate the season with us, give a gift of art and make art a part of your holidays. This year’s exhibition, “Into Light”, will open on December 17, 2022 from 6-9. Amish Darr an acoustic performer based out of Greenpoint, Brooklyn will be playing at RIVAA holiday show on December 17th at 7:30pm


AMISH DARR PERFORMANCE Amish Darr an acoustic performer based out of Greenpoint, Brooklyn will be playing at RIVAA holiday show on December 17th at 7:30pm Bio: Native of Pakistan, Amish Darr is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who has seen it all–from the mystic city of Lahore to the concrete streets of New York City. After studying in American schools, he traveled throughout Europe and finally settled in America. Over the years, his studies of medical science and information technology stirred his curiosity. This led him to ponder and seek the answers for profound questions regarding existence. After extensive research and soul searching, he chose a spiritual path that calls out for spiritual unification and acceptance in the words, “Love for all. Hatred for none.” Amish’s eclectic music is thought-provoking, powerful poetry in multiple languages decorated with eastern ragas and western melodies and is the amalgamation of everything he has experienced. He says, “My music is the sound of my soul that cries out for true love. From heartbreak to spiritual ecstasy, it is bound to take you on a journey you will never forget. Social Media Channels: Amish Darr (Personal Page) Hidden by Soul (Shows produced by Amish Darr)

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TREE OF LIFE A symbol traversing cultures and eras of mythology and philosophy. A universal motif symbolizing immortality, eternal life, wisdom, coexistence, interconnectedness, harmony & abundance. Experience the beauty of the tree of life on textile. THE SHOP Since 1969 our inspiration is an awakening of traditional art, an observance of individuality, and therealization of living in a sacred space. Our passion is reviving craft communities by integrating contemporary design with the expert craftsmanship of traditional craft. A celebration of the artisanal and handmade. A philosophy of beautiful living. Taking a moment to enjoy the beauty of the smallest materials that surround your life. Solidarity, cooperation, curiosity, creativity, diversity, sustainability, and humility especially to the planet is our expectation of ourselves. EVENT Thursday, 12/8 @ 5 PM - 9 PM : Opening & Merriment Friday, 12/9 @ 2 PM - 9 PM : Block Printing (Adults) Saturday, 12/10 @ 11 AM - 9 PM : Crafts for Kids Sunday, 12/11 @ 11 AM - 5 PM : Crafts for Kids

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PAWTRAIT SHOW WITH FRIENDS Opening on December 1, 2022 at RIVAA Gallery at 6PM the exhibition “ Pawtrait Show With Friends”. Come and meet your furry friends on the walls of the gallery along with some of their friends. Humans and dogs are welcome.



Selected Works from the Roosevelt Island Carter Burden Adult Center Art Workshop

This exhibition features paintings and collages by participants of the Art Workshop at the Roosevelt Island Carter Burden Adult Center. Over 20 artists will exhibit more than 100 works, ranging from beautifully rendered landscapes, to boldly colored abstractions, to highly imaginative figurative works. 

The Art Workshop is an ongoing program of the Roosevelt Island Carter Burden Adult Center, lead by John Mendelsohn. The workshop is available to the members of the Carter Burden Network, and is open to everyone, no experienced required. The workshop is designed for the participants to develop their own personal expressions, while learning artistic skills in a socially supportive setting.

Mendelsohn has remarked, “It has been great to see how the participant’s work has developed over the years. I am very proud of the art they have made, and I hope that everyone will see the exhibition.”

UNOBSERVED REALITY Lilit Vahradyan is a professional Armenian artist who graduated in 2019 from the School of Visual Arts located in New York City. She has around 10 years of experience in Fine Arts, her main concentration being in Painting and Drawing. She works with acrylic, pen, colored pencil, marker and watercolor. Normally working on paper or canvas, she works to capture her spontaneous moods, ideas and overactive brain.  Most of her work surrounds the theme of line work, faces and imaginary realism. The sense and emotion of feeling something, or a compilation of hidden feelings is imperative. She stays inspired by her surroundings, dreams and emotions. Her intention is to exude the strength of intimacy and impulsivity of the moment, and to stay within the art making of the individual piece as well as highlight linear precision, control, bright color and bold marks.  She has had several exhibitions both in New York City and Armenia. In the years of 2018-2019 she exhibited in SVA Open Studios. She has also exhibited in the Fall For Arts Festival on Roosevelt Island, where her mural was later shown in the Motorgate Atrium gallery. Then In 2019, she exhibited her painting in a group show at the United Nations Women’s Guild.  In the following year of 2020, she participated in an online competition, called EGGnWORKS TagStationary based in Kyoto Japan. Between 100 artists, her piece became a finalist in the top 10. Her most recent exhibition was in her home country in Armenia, at one of the main galleries of the City Center. Here she had her solo exhibition, where she showed more than 30+ works. Her exhibition was documented, where she also interviewed on various tv channels and broadcasted live.

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