German-born Park Slope resident CORDULA VOLKENING is many things. She is a mother of two and an artist known around the neighborhood for her construction and design work. Now, she is also a survivor. Volkening was diagnosed with advanced brain cancer last September. She has undergone two rounds of brain surgery and is currently in an experimental clinical trial. Although the tumor has impaired her ability to speak, her photographer friend Stefan Falke says the effects of the cancer and the treatments have “not kept her from continuously creating great art.”
“She could tell Ted Kennedy a thing or two about not giving up!” says Beth Harpaz, a friend who helps Volkening with publicity.
“In Meinem Wilden Herzen” will be Volkening’s second show since her diagnosis. The exhibition is named for a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, and roughly translates from German as “in my wildest/bravest heart.” The collection features 20 new paintings and seven “light objects.” To learn what those might be, stop by the show!
Cordula has lived in Brooklyn since 1985. She holds a degree in fine art from the School of Art and Design in Kiel, Germany. BAG is located at 168 Seventh St. on the third floor. For more information visit http://www.brooklynartistsgym.com/.
Brooklyn Bridge Park is ever closer to becoming a reality. By all accounts from Tuesday night’s “Sunset Sizzle” fundraiser, the park will be not only a park, but a spectacular, precedent-setting masterpiece. The many lawmakers and non-politicians who have driven the development process spoke into the warm night in promising and buoyant terms to a crowd comprised mostly of parents and their young children.
Borough Prez MARTY MARKOWITZ said with characteristic exuberance, “This will be the park that defines the 21st century in urban America!” He went on to say that upon completion, the park would constitute a must-see attraction for out of town visitors.
Special guest of honor Governor DAVID PATERSON (who opened his speech with “Markowitz is the happiest man on the planet”) made it clear that he is an ally of the park. He stated his willingness to do what he can to reinforce funding efforts “on the planet we call Albany” if park progress ever stalls or goes over budget.
NY State Senator MARTY CONNOR repeated the emphasis on the “world-famous” aspect of the park’s future. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez added, “The most important part is that the park connects Brooklyn and NYC with the waterfront. We are reclaiming the waterfront!”
A local love story capped the speeches: Brooklyn residents MARC SCARPELLI and MARY MORROW met several years ago when working together as volunteers for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy film committee (one as a bike “valet”). They were married two years ago Tuesday, making the “Sizzle” their anniversary. The couple was visibly surprised when called to the stage to accept a thank you gift for their contribution.
As of press time, final numbers for the fundraiser weren’t available, but an extensive silent auction should help yield big money. For more on the political ramifications of the visit, see Dennis Holt’s story, this issue.
Democratic Councilmember SIMCHA FELDER has announced his candidacy for the 21st District of the New York State Senate. Keisha T. John ’08 of Brooklyn was recognized on May 2 for outstanding scholastic and intellectual achievement at the 58th annual Honors Day Ceremony of Trinity College. President of Coney Island Development Corporation Lynn Kelly recently diagnosed a need for a comprehensive guide to the area, so the CIDC just launched www.coneyislandfunguide.com. The easy to navigate site contains daily event listings, the Brooklyn Cyclones’ schedule, contact numbers and maps for area attractions.