For its 125th anniversary, the BROOKLYN BRIDGE will be feted in high style by several local artists inspired by her gothic arches and majestic span. TABLA RASA GALLERY’S exhibition “Bridge as Icon” will showcase the work of Fort Greene resident Ramona Candy, Stephen Basso of Bensonhurst, Park Slopers Gregory Frux, Nick Savides, Lucille Nurkse, Simon Dinnerstein, Stephen Basso and more. The collection, presented by gallery co-directors Joseph and Audrey Frank Anastasi, also artists, will feature a variety of media including contemporary oil paintings, photography, antique prints and at least one sculptural and video piece. The show will be open weekends from May 22 to July 26 and is free to the public.
Audrey Frank Anastasi’s artist background is tightly tied to NY. She is the former President of Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). She received her MFA from Pratt Institute, and from 1985 to 1994 taught figure drawing, portfolio development and anatomy at Parsons School of Design.
An artists reception for “Bridge as Icon” will be held Sunday, May 25, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Tabla Rasa is located in SPArC (Sunset Park Artists’ Community) at 224 48 St. between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. For more information about the show and the artists visit The official anniversary of the day the bridge opened is May 24.
Boerum Hill resident MICHAEL HARLAN TURKELL has been working on his photography project “Back of the House” since 2001, and he hopes the project “never ends.” While the journey may be ongoing for Turkell, his black and white photos of the unseen side of the restaurant world are certainly being appreciated by an audience. Turkell is featured in the new 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers, Volume 2, from acclaimed author Sylvia Plachy, to be released in May by Dumbo’s PowerHouse Books. The idea for “Back of the House” came to Turkell when he was simultaneously working in kitchens and pursuing his BFA in photography, and presented the perfect way to stay rooted in both passions. For three years now he has worked full-time as a culinary journalist documenting the internal workings of kitchens, chefs and the greater culinary community, and his work has taken him to more than 100 restaurants. “It’s been quite an adventure so far,” he said. The book’s launch at PowerHouse Arena, May 22 at 37 Main St. (6 to 8 p.m.) will feature a discussion and signing with author Plachy and all 25 photographers. An accompanying photo exhibit will open at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, Gulf and Western Gallery, 721 Broadway, with a reception May 29, 6 to 8 p.m.
See Turkell’s work at or
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Two art exhibits in the Brooklyn Public Library’s Grand Lobby until June 14 pay homage to familiar Brooklyn scenes with an intriguing use of light and a focus on the relationship between the city and its trees. South Slope resident and painter TOM KEOUGH imparts a sense of tranquility and solitude with his series “Brooklyn Nights,” set in ususual late evening light. Keough worked for many years in ink, but transitioned to oil and watercolor 20 years ago when inspired by the “urban environment of our city and the beauty of the Catskills.” Work from MARY RIESER HEINTJES includes oil paintings, drawings and photographs of urban wildlife. “As I observe and document the survival of trees and nature in Brooklyn and New York City, I try to become invisible so I can work undisturbed in public spaces,” Heintjes said. “The sensuousness of natural light and mysteries of nature are ever present.” Heintjes earned her BFA at Pratt.
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Fort Greene’s Encompass Theatre will celebrate legendary Broadway composer JERRY BOCK’S 80th birthday with a May 18 gala at the National Arts Club at 15 Gramercy Park South. The composer won a Tony Award for his work in “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Apple Tree” and “She Loves Me,” and The Rothschilds, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Fiorello. The night’s entertainment will be provided by an all-star cast. To begin, four-time Tony Award winner and Brooklyn-born Harvey Fierstein, currently starring on Broadway in “A Catered Affair,” will perform “If I Were A Rich Man” from “Fiddler on the Roof.” Also in the evening’s line up performing songs composed by Bock are Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth, Brian d’Arcy James, Sally Mayes, Neva Small, Ron Raines and KT Sullivan. Call the Encompass office for tickets at 718-398-4675.
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The sixth annual edition of the book THE MOM EGG will arrive just in time for Mother’s Day-as planned, of course. The collection of writing and art comes from a group of 60 diverse mothers, who will read from Egg at its May 11 release party at Brooklyn’s Stain Bar, 766 Grand St., from 7 to 9 p.m., as part of the bar’s popular Sunday Salon series. Book contributors/readers will include Joy Rose, Mamapalooza Festival founder and pink-haired lead singer from the band Housewives on Prozac and Caribbean-American poet Cheryl Boyce Taylor, among others. Assimilation, aging parents, sexual identification and breastfeeding, war, alienation, and poverty are among the subjects of this collection.
Several Brooklyn residents have graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Tex. Airforce airmen include STEPHANIE A. HERNANDEZ, a Bensonhurst resident and former Fort Hamilton H.S. student, LENICE C. ALSTON, a 2007 graduate of Brooklyn College Academy and MICHAEL C. HUNT, a 2004 graduate of the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology in Brooklyn. During the six-week training, the airmen studied the Air Force organization, military customs and courtesies, performed drill and ceremony marches, rifle marksmanship and field-training exercises. In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
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Air Force Airman 1st Class CHRIS L. BRAXTON has graduated from the Weather Forecaster Apprentice Course at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Miss. The course is designed to train students in the fundamentals of Air Force weather forecasting. Braxton will be assigned to the 17th Operational Weather Squadron, Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu, Hawaii. The airman graduated in 2000 from the Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn.