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 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.
Le View and part of wall #1

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


    May 2012



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