'G40: The Summit' showcases worldwide art in Crystal City

By Christy Goodman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 4, 2010

Inside an older Crystal City high-rise this month will be a massive explosion of creativity, color and art.

The Crystal City Business Improvement District, Vornado and Art Whino teamed up to present "G40: The Summit," featuring the work of more than 500 artists from around the world over five floors at 223 23rd St. in Arlington County.

Shane Pomajambo of Art Whino, a National Harbor-based gallery, selected the artists, who submitted their best works to showcase the various styles of what is being dubbed the New Brow movement.

New Brow is a take on the lowbrow movement that grew out of California in the 1970s, said Susannah Parnin, Art Whino's gallery director. That movement focused on urban art using nontraditional materials, such as spray paint or wheat paste. The New Brow movement, she said, takes that to the next level.

"We are finding that a lot of our artists are using more traditional materials in an untraditional style," said Parnin, who listed photographers, stencilers, muralists and others among the gallery's artists.

Featured artist James Walker, 31, of Leesburg said, "You would be hard-pressed to see this much good work from all over the world in one location." He has an installation of about 50 pieces that mixes photography, painting, text and other mediums with a common theme, his border collies.

Walker shrugged off the New Brow label and said it is just a way to "classify a contemporary art movement that is not happening in the mainstream," although he said the movement is working in that direction.

U Street's Lady Glock, a 27-year-old photographer, said the Crystal City exhibit is giving a wider range of artists a chance to show and "giving people who wouldn't go into art galleries or appreciate art in the historic sense a chance to say, 'I like this,' which I think is important." She added, "Everybody should enjoy art."

This will be the first time Glock, otherwise known as Dafna Steinberg, will be showing with Art Whino. Her photography focuses on urban life, be it a portrait of a hardworking hand, some graffiti behind a chain-link fence or a city scene.

Tim Slayton, 27, a primary member of the Truth Among Liars collective, said this type of show gives exposure to artists and educates people.

"Things like this help everyone get to that open eye and realize it is not all bad," Slayton said.

The provocative social commentary created through Truth Among Liars' images aims to get people thinking, he said.

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