A New Leader for the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association


This week, The Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) elected a new president. She is Sandra Gavelyte, an architect, born in Lithuania. She replaces RIVAA founder Tad Sudol.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Gallery RIVAA opening exhibit, April 2021.

In Gavelyte, RIVAA has its first president who was not a founding member. Sudol, along with Arlene Jacoby and Esther Piaskowski, began RIVAA in 2001. During his tenure, he established the artists’ collective as an institution and, working with RIOC, branched an initiative – Island of Art – aimed at redefining Roosevelt Island with a creating slant.

Gavelyte is unknown to most of the local community. She hopes to remedy that by welcoming visitors to the 527 Main Street gallery on Roosevelt Island Day, June 11th. Meet here there between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

About Sandra Gavelyte

Gavelyte has over 10 years of working experience in architectural design and construction. She developed community projects in SE Asia in remote areas as well as volunteered with City Farm in London.

Her work includes time in the London Underground where she collaborated with engineers, improving the design of stations and modernizing the subway system.

Educated in England at East London Westminster University, Gavelyte earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in architecture, with an additional degree from NewHam College in multimedia and graphic design.

She recalls being inspired by the “vibrant and multicultural entrepreneurial spirit that colors various neighborhoods – with distinct products and tastes, unique fashions and arts.”

Over the coming weeks and months, local art lovers, as well as artists, hope to learn more about her vision for RIVAA.

The Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) was founded in 2001 by artists Arlene Jacoby, Tad Sudol and Esther Piaskowski.

They opened the gallery doors at 527 Main Street in September of that year.

The mission of RIVAA is to provide a space for art exhibitions, performances, classes and workshops for the Roosevelt Island community and beyond.

RIVAA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization run by volunteer artists and art lovers.

RIVAA welcomes submissions of proposals for exhibitions, performances, classes and workshops from individuals, groups and organizations.

For more information, please visit http://www.rivaa.org or email info@rivaa.org.

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