[All photos by Gerry Suchy]
The funky, large-scale murals adorning both the inside and the outside of the new Blind Whino SW Arts Club leave one feeling aesthetically pleased almost immediately. Still, despite its beauty founders Ian Callendar and Shane Pomajambo insist that the purpose of the club is much more than visual appeal.
The building that now houses Blind Whino used to be a church and up until recently it had sat vacant. Now, it will be used as a way to promote creativity and community within the District. In addition to being a full-fledged work of art itself, Pomajambo says that the space will feature art workshops and classes, host supper clubs, concerts and of course, art exhibits.
As if to prove that point, the club kicked off its September 6th opening by partnering with the month-long G40 Arts Summit and featuring over 300 pieces of art. The Summit has also partnered with the Heineken Mural Project to include murals from some of the best and brightest street artists nationwide.
"Just like we turned this abandoned building into art, I asked the artists to turn objects into art (for the exhibit)," Pomajambo says.
The featured artists' thoughts about the space echo those of the club's founders.
"If you saw this building in its raw form, it would've never dawned on you that this was possible, says Aniekan, a D.C.-based muralist featured in the Heineken Mural Project.
"Painting something beautiful in a public place adds beauty to people's lives," says Ever, another featured muralist hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina. "They don't need to see it for five minutes. If people take five seconds to look, that's O.K. with me."
· Before and After Photos at Southwest Art Club Blind Whino [CDC]