If you’re looking for an art gallery that is a little edgier than most, Art Whino offers something a little more upbeat and creative. Art Whino is a retail gallery that originally opened in Alexandria, Va. but in 2008, moved to the National Harbor, located about 20 minutes from downtown Washington off 295 Southin Oxon Hill, Md. It is the host of contemporary underground art from around the world.
Their website says that their mission is to “bring you the largest body of work from innovators of the current new art moment” which is described as “pop-surrealism, lowbrow, and urban contemporary.”
One weekend of each month, the gallery hosts a grand showcase of a new exhibit that lasts for about a month which is free and open to the general public. Last Saturday, the gallery held the opening of the second annual “Inked Souls” exhibit, which features one-of-a-kind sneaker customizations, paintings, and photography. The showcase featured deejays, breakdancing, and live performances.
In the exhibit, artists transformed a pair of blank Tagür sneakers into a customized piece of art along with a counterpart canvas painting. Howard University student Jasmine Hollis, a junior television production major from Stone Mountain, Ga. said she’s visited the gallery on a couple of occasions “I was at the Harbor for the first time and saw some sneakers and art through one of the store windows and became curious” she said. “The concept is very original and I would definitely go back to see some other exhibits.”
About 800 guests showed up this year, which ranged from collectors to creative types. Photographers Lady Glock, James Walker, and Roger Snider showed up to exhibit their portraits which ranged from 80’s breakers to customized semi trucks. The exhibit is being held at 2450 Crystal Drive, in conjunction with the Crystal City Business Improved District (BID).
While Art Whino at the National Harbor remains open during its regular hours, the Crystal City exhibit’s hours will be Fridays from 4pm to 8pm and Saturdays from noon to 6pm and will run until May 9.
Art Whino also hosts preview shows at the Adidas store in Georgetown the night before the major showcase event at the gallery. “It’s just a little celebration to get a little more exposure,” said gallery director Susannah Parnin.
The artwork featured in the gallery are for sale and range anywhere from $30 to about $2,000. The gallery’s next event will be Friday titled “MayDay: Global Politics: A three Part Show” from 6 p.m. until midnight.
The show will feature artwork from three local artists whose art is seen as a cross between formal, abstract, and comic book styles, and will run until June 1.
The gallery is located in the National Harbor at 173 Waterfront St.