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‘Summertime’ exhibit shares EZ Storage artists’ works


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Photo by Wanda Jackson. Imani Russell’s mixed media work titled “Moon Blooms II.”

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Imani Russell’s mixed media work titled “Moon Blooms II.”

Published on: Wednesday, August 07, 2013

By Wanda Jackson

The song “Summertime” with more than 33,000 recordings by groups and solo performers — including Janis Joplin, Ella Fitzgerald, Norah Jones and Miles Davis — is known as one of the finest songs George Gershwin ever composed.

Playing on the song’s lyrics, “Summertime and the Living is EZ” exhibits artworks from Gateway’s EZ Storage Studios on U.S. Route 1. The exhibition will be held just a few blocks south at the 39th Street Gallery in the Gateway Community Development’s Arts Center through Aug. 24.

The exhibit showcases a wide range of works by local artists, said John Paradiso, programming and facilities manager at the 39th Street Art Gallery.

“This is the first time that the EZ studio artists have shown in the 39th Street Gallery and Corridor exhibition space,” Paradiso said.

The exhibit aims “to provide an opportunity for the EZ studio artists to get to know one another better, to acquaint themselves with the artists in the Gateway Arts Center and to have the general public see the diversity of art being created in the EZ storage building in a professional gallery setting,” Paradiso said.

The exhibit features paintings, fiber art, photography and collages by Shahla Arbabi, Sardar Aziz, Susan Crane, Annie Compton, Cheryl Edwards, Melissa Glasser, Tom Hill, Wayson Jones, John Paradiso, Imani Russell, Russell Simmons, Shahin Shikhaliyev, Ann Stoddard, Valerie Theberge, Denise Wamaling and Mark Wamaling.

The artists — some established, others still experimental — express themselves boldly and will surprise their viewers, while exploring themes that range from the Gullah culture to art that “pushes the traditional boundaries of beauty, morality and respectability,” one artist said.

Some pieces are abstract and “motivated by ideas about solitude and singularity,” another artist said.

Gateway CDC, partnered with the Sienna Corporation, has 18 visual arts studios at the EZ Storage building, Paradiso said.

“There are never enough affordable studios in the world,” Paradiso said.

At EZ Storage, studios are professionally managed and offer climate-controlled storage above the studios. Some storefront studios even function as galleries.

The 39th Street Gallery’s August exhibition hours are by appointment. Call (301) 864-3860 ext. 3 before visiting.

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