We are in an 11 story building in Crystal City, Va, across the  Potomac from downtown DC. Artists are beginning to install their works in 9 of  the floor --two were closed because there is so much space. I have done two of  my five 5-hour shifts -- the first was working on a floor to help artists choose  their spaces, and the second was last night, making sure that artists are  installing their work correctly. Or, rather, making sure that they don't commit  no-nos like using more than 100w per electrical plug. Other volunteers were on  other floors, or operating the freight elevator, guarding artwork on the loading  dock while artists move their cars, counting garbage cans and vacuuming with
industrial vacs. My two shifts were rather lonely, but I'm going to be bar  manager on two Saturdays, and that will be hopping. There is a nice, easy-going  comraderie amongst the artists, and I enjoyed chatting with the ones who were
installing on my floor.

Mike lugged half of my paintings up to my space (on  the 11th floor) and we're going to go back tonight to put them on. I think that  I'll put most of the acrylic abstracts on one wall and the musicians series and  encaustic paintings on the other wall. I still haven't figured out what to do  about the danged door!

Here's what my space looked like last night: 

Here are two artists working hard on the floor I monitored last  night - floor 3: Michelle is painting some big tubes which will transform into  columns on which she'll put some of her sculptures and stone  work.

Robert Kincheloe, of Bull Run Valley Glass, (www.brvglass.com) was installing his glassworks -- a set of 34 branches  representing the 100th anniversary of the Japanese gifts of cherry trees to the  nation. He also has some drop dead gorgeous fused glass  triptychs.
At the end of my shift, I went up to the 11th floor to take a  peek at what others are installing. I have to say that this floor was hopping!
Here's some of what I saw.
I'm a big fan of Matt Sesow:
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Matt Sesow --- www.sesow.com
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Dana Ellyn shares a space with Matt Sesow

Michael Auger  (www.arty4ever.com) had a fanTAStic room  filled with black light-reactive paintings. It's a glow in the dark   extravaganza!

Mellissa Burley uses recycled materials for her sculptures, which she lights with halogen.
I love Curtis Woody's works, which he calls "quilt paintings." He  begins eafch painting with a geometric design of museum board blocks and then  uses many media to tell a story. He also incorporates African symbols and
alphabets. bits from slave narratives, along with vintage photographic images.  Curtis says that early 19th century quilt makers sewed secret messages into  quilts which were hung from the windows of safe houses on the Underground  Railroad. His work is on the 3rd floor is should not be missed.
There are some other artists who work in encaustic here, and i  particularly liked this one using ginko leaves.
I don't know who the artist  is, though...will have to go back to look.
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What rhymes with orange?
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It's BLUE
 
 
Artomatic is a huge - humongous - gargantuan -- art show held in Washington, D.C. -- sporadically over the past 12 years.  It's like a giant pop-up -- think entire office buildings -- filled with paintings, installations, sculpture, rock bands, performance art, dance concerts and poetry readings.

Anyone can sign up to exhibit/perform; if you're an artist, you pay $100 plus three 5-hour volunteer shifts. Almost everything is for sale, but art cannot be taken in or out of the building between opening day -- this  year it's May 18 -- and July 1. This year Artomatic is in an 11-story office building in Crystal City, Virginia - across the river from downtown DC.  The building is going to be demolished after the show.

I've never participated, but I'm part of the show this year. I selected my space yesterday and it's a beaut on the top floor looking at the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument.  Today I did my first volunteer shift, helping artists pick out their spaces and nailing them down (not literally, but with tape).

All day yesterday I worried that I had chosen the wrong space. It's on the top floor, which is usually good (many people start on the top floor and work their way down), but it's a total rats maze... and i was a little claustrophobic and then began worrying that people would give up trying to navigate through so many rooms.  Today, while helping folks find spaces on the first floor, i spied a really nice, big, light inner wall, and thought...hm.... maybe I should try to switch spaces. But i went up to my space and... sigh... i made the right decision from the get go.

Dig my crazy space! A gorgeous view  (hope that visitors aren't so distracted by the view that they ignore my paintings!) and -- PADDED walls. Now what do you think is the best way to hang paintings on those walls? They're about 1" thick before reaching drywall.

Here are pix from last week, and it'll be interesting to see how the spaces are transformed.
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Le View and part of wall #1
 

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    Diana Quinn is an artist and musician living in Washington, D.C.

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