The second half of the two-part “Party Crashers” exhibit in Arlington opens tomorrow. The first part opened Nov. 19 at the Arlington Arts Center. The exhibit at the Terrace Gallery at the Artisphere, curated by Cynthia Connolly, features artists influenced by alternative comics and ‘zines. The idea behind this part of the dual exhibit, according to Connolly in her press release, is that

The comic aesthetic has lodged itself in the contemporary art world, and continues to challenge the hierarchical categorizations of traditional painting and drawing. Past generations viewed the comic as ‘throw away’ art printed on newsprint, not fine art to be collected, but we have grown to accept and enjoy the comic as a familiar genre. For the first time in contemporary history, we regard the comic as a powerful influence within contemporary art circles. Party Crashers provides an opportunity for audiences to see the application and influence of the comic form in contemporary art, examining the genre’s cultural impact and increasing legitimacy as a fine art medium.

I think Roy Lichtenstein and others from the Pop art movement in the ’50s and ’60s might disagree with that, but it’ll be interesting to see what this locally-grown exhibit produces.

The artists included in the Artisphere exhibit are D.Billy (DC/NYC), iona rozeal brown (DC/NYC), Eric Cheevers (DC), Anna U. Davis (DC), Nekisha Durrett (DC), Jim Houser (PA), Tim Kerr (TX), Matt Leines (PA), Thom Lessner (PA), Ryan Nelson (DC/MI), Oura Sananikone (VA), and Zach Storm (DC/MD). I’m told that most of them will be attending the opening of the show, and there will be a gallery talk starting at 8 pm.

Also launching Saturday is the ART on the ART bus, a mobile gallery on one of Arlington County’s ART public transit buses, which will shuttle “Party Crashers” visitors between Artisphere and the sister exhibit at the AAC. The bus will feature paintings by artist and musician Tim Kerr, who is also displaying in the Artisphere portion of the “Party Crashers” exhibit.

Finally, a concert is also scheduled for that evening. Thom Lessner, who is also showing at the Artispshere exhibit, and his band, Sweetheart, will play in the Dome at Artisphere following the opening reception, at 11:01 pm. Tickets are $12; if you’re feeling artistic and want to draw a one-frame comic, you can pay a reduced fee. Tickets sold onsite only.

Artisphere is at 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. (703) 875-1100. “Party Crashers” runs Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. to Feb. 13, 2011.