Countdown to Artomatic

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Artists and volunteers have been busy installing artwork over the past two weeks at 8100 Corporate Drive in Hyattsville, MD. You can check out some recent photos of the process below. But first, how much do you know about Artomatic?

Artomatic was first held in 1999, inside the old Manhattan Laundry building on Florida Avenue the Shaw neighborhood of Northwest Washington, DC—hence the original name “Art-O-Matic.” Since then, the event has been held in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012 at various locations around the DC-Maryland-Virginia area. When Artomatic is not in session, associated artists and organizers continue networking efforts on social media and in past, on Artdc.org, an artist collective that aims to build connections between artists, galleries and collectors.

Artomatic is typically hosted in transitory spaces—former office buildings that have been vacated by government workers before demolition, or unfinished high rises that have not yet begun leasing. The largest Artomatic was its most recent, occurring in an office building at 1851 S. Bell Street in Arlington, VA. Over ten floors of office space hosted over 1,000 artists and accommodated tens of thousands of visitors.

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Sabrina Dames adjusts her artwork.

The beauty of Artomatic is in its transitory nature and freewheeling approach to art exhibition. The non-juried event encourages established, emerging and unknown artists to showcase their work and interact with each other and the public. DIY, experimentation and community are important here, and the unusual and interactive are encouraged. In fact, Frank Warren’s Post Secret project got its start at Artomatic in 2004. This year the event is being held in Prince George’s County, in partnership with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

You will see every type of art here—tasteful and tasteless, elaborate and minimalistic—the whimsical and the sinister, side by side. Every possible medium is represented, including performing arts. Artomatic is non-juried and that is its finest point—the best way to experience the event is to wander around without aim and enjoy the serendipity of discovering artwork you never could have imagined.

This year’s Artomatic will unfold in an office park at 8100 Corporate Drive in Hyattsville, MD. There is plenty of parking in the office building parking lot and the exhibition is a short walk from the New Carrolton Metro station on the Orange Line. Artomatic opens this week, on Friday, October 30 at 9:00am and runs until December 12. It will feature more than 700 artists over the course of 6 weeks! Open Wednesday – Thursday 5:00pm to 10:00pm, and Friday – Sunday 11:00am to Midnight.

Please subscribe to the Artomatic newsletter, watch this space for the latest news, follow Artomatic on Facebook and Twitter, and get involved!

Artists and volunteers have been hard at work since the start of October 2015, finishing installation and adding final touches to their displays. Check out some more of the efforts below:

Article and images by K. McDermott; some content originally posted on The Plaza Art Blog.

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Amir Bahar puts the finishing touches on his display.

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