Friday, May 18, 2012

John Anderson on Artomatic

"Walk through Artomatic for two hours and the effect is what you might expect: It's dizzying. Draining. Eleven floors, 10 of them busting with artworks from 1,300 contributors. Some floors are labyrinthine; others are wide-open displays of sculpture and installation, interrupted by a stage and bank of chairs. Like the last time Artomatic was in Crystal City, this year's show is housed in an old office building. The carpet looks cheap; the drop ceiling feels cheaper. The lighting is mostly fluorescent. It is everything a museum or a gallery shouldn't be. And that's the point, because it is neither.

Consider what it is: a six-week event by local artists for local artists, run almost entirely by volunteers in a vacant building. There are the stages: poetry on the 11th floor; Heineken (one of the sponsors) has stages on the 10th and eighth floors; the ninth floor has a dance stage. If it isn't the largest volunteer-run arts organization in the country, it's probably near the top"
Read the whole article in the WCP here.

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