Artomatic, a longstanding free-form, nomadic outlet for local creative types, opened today in Crystal City with more than 600 artists, performers and musicians lined up to showcase their talents.
This noncurated show — it’s first-come, first-served — got its start 18 years ago in the old Manhattan Laundry buildings on Florida Avenue, hence the name, art-o-matic. An area developer donated the use of the empty building to some artists and their friends, who filled every square foot of the building with their works.
The show comes out of hibernation in another unused space every 12 to 18 months, and grows in popularity every year.
This year, the show will occupy the upper floors of a building on South Bell Street in Arlington, owned by Vornado/Charles E. Smith.
Besides the hundreds of visual artworks on display, Artomatic features performances and events such as poetry readings, a magic show and the opportunity to draw a costumed figure. When you come, bring a book to donate to the Artomatic Book Library — and take a new one home.
This amazing event is free and open to the public. It’s right next to the Crystal City Metro stop, but there’s also a parking garage right nearby that’s free on weekends and after 4 p.m. on weekdays. It’s here through May 6, so put this don’t-miss, one-of-a-kind event on your calendar now.
Artomatic, 1800 S. Bell St., Crystal City, Virginia; Open Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, noon to midnight and Sundays, noon to 8 p.m., through May 6.