Artomatic: March 24 to May 6 in Crystal City

Artomatic: March 24 to May 6 in Crystal City

Artomatic is a DC metro area institution. It calls itself an “artist-run, unjuried, multimedia arts temporary event that draws together visual and performing artists.” Basically, a huge group of artists commandeers a large space somewhere in the metro DC area and celebrates art for at least a month. Artomatic has been leading the charge since 1999. And this year, literature will be formally integrated into the event for the first time.

This year’s Artomatic will take over six floors (SIX FLOORS) of a corporate office building attached to the Crystal City metro station. The last event (2016) featured almost 400 artists, and this year’s event will attract 600 artists. Each visual artist gets wall space to share his or her art, which can range from video installations and sculpture to painting and photography. Plus, there’s live music, there’s dancing, and there’s wine.

To give you an idea of how free-spirited this event will be, here’s what the Artomatic asks of exhibiting artists: “Do NOT paint the ceiling. Do NOT paint the floor.” It sounds like lovely bedlam and I can’t wait to see it.

This year, Artomatic veteran and AU MFA student Tara Campbell is planning a series of literature events at Artomatic. The events will include an all-genre Open Mic night on Wednesdays, and events featuring The Writers’ CenterMonkeys with Typewriters, the Santa Fe Writers’ ProjectStory District, and District Lit, among others. There will also be poetry readings, an open mic for humor writers, and a number of author readings. We’ll be sharing the list of events when it is finalized.

I will be organizing the Open Mic night, which will take place every Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 (so, March 29, April 5, April 12, April 19, April 26 with a guest host, and May 3). In the spirit of Artomatic, it’ll be an informal space in which anyone can share work in any genre. If anyone is interested in co-organizing with me, or in coming down to read and explore the wonderful chaos of Artomatic, let me know.

Yohanca Delgado is a staff editor at Café Américain and a first-year candidate in American University’s Creative Writing MFA program.

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