Karen L. Klein is the creator of this jewelry. She created SCRAP DC — a creative reuse center. Her jewelry comes from many purchases she made from reusable materials.
Photo by Susan Belford.
Last weekend, more than 1,600 art enthusiasts, music aficionados, curiosity seekers and D.C.-area residents visited Artomatic 2016 to discover new art, mingle with the creative community and enjoy performances and interactive activities.
This is the first time that the 17-year-old Artomatic has been held in Montgomery County. Held at Park Potomac, the free exhibit is open Thursday through Sunday (closed Monday – Wednesday and Thanksgiving) for the next two weekends until Dec. 9. The hours are noon to 10 p.m. on Thursday, noon – midnight on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. It features 380 artists, performances and workshops held in 45,000 square feet on the 5th and 6th floors at 12435 Park Potomac Avenue.
Potomac artist and art teacher Felisa Federman is pleased to be part of this exhibition: “Artomatic is a wonderful opportunity for artists to speak with the public — and also with one another. If I see a technique I want to learn, I seek out the artist and we can then get together and I can learn a new technique. This is a non-juried event and any artist can display their work here. Artomatic also raises awareness among the community that artists need space and opportunities to display their talents and sell their work.
“The programs give both children and adults a chance to be creative and hands-on. Everyone is a volunteer and we all agree to donate 15 or more hours to the exhibition; it is a unique opportunity for artists to get to know each other and to learn from one another — and to invite the public into our studios to see what we do and how we do it. It really creates an appreciation too.”
The first Artomatic took place in 1999 in the Manhattan Laundry Building on Florida Avenue NW in D.C. Douglas Development donated the use of the building for six weeks to a group of artists who invited their friends to exhibit. Before long, every nook and cranny was filled with art installations of every description and the artists coined the word Art-o-matic because of the spontaneity of the exhibition. More than 25,000 people attended the first year, and Artomatic has continued to flourish with exhibitions held almost yearly in both D.C. and Virginia. Chair Emeritus and Founder George C. Koch said, “By artists and for everyone, Artomatic is well-known for temporarily transforming empty spaces into vibrant arts events that celebrate creativity and create a unique and exciting opportunity for tens of thousands of visitors. Anyone can present their art at Artomatic, and presentation spaces are selected on a first-come, first serve basis — so it’s a great way to discover new art and artists.
“At a time of regional transformation, people are looking for art and gathering destinations right where they live, and Artomatic brings this ‘New Suburbanism’ place-making to Montgomery County. People want a sense of interaction; Artomatic has shown that it can catalyze a sense of greater community within a community that transforms people and places. This is why Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Arts & Humanities County of Montgomery County are Artomatic’s enthusiastic sponsors. Artomatic creates community, builds audiences and expands economic development.”
Artistic and creative events are held throughout the day for children, families and anyone interested in visual arts. For example, Nov. 26 and 27 will feature a host of classes and exhibitions including a creative writing workshop with writer/poet Elisavietta Ritchie, a children’s wire sculpture workshop creating dinosaurs and rocket ships with artist Roger Cutler, a jazz, blues, R&B, Hip-Hop and African music performance by grand pianist Abe, a children’s art mural coloring session, and Yoga in the Galleries with artist and yogi, Suz Podrasky Stafford. Other demonstrations will be held the first weekend in December. Go to www.automatic.org for a full calendar of free events open to everyone.
Annie Lunsford ‘s art company is www.LaughingMoonArtworks.com.
She specializes in light-hearted, whimsical artwork, including limited edition prints, hand-painted and digitally painted t-shirts, coasters, trivets and original art paintings, holiday cards and wood plaques. She is happy to be sharing her art at Artomatic. ”I welcome the opportunity to meet so many people interested in visual arts,” she said.
Baltimore artist and art teacher Emily Uchytil knew she wanted to become an artist since she was a small child. She has a love for ecology, entomology and patterns. She creates images on vintage wallpaper. “I'm currently working on paintings of birds and larger-than-life insects as well as a collection of imaginary insect drawings,” she said. “I like the idea of challenging our cultural notion of reality and enshrining insects — overtly displaying their prominent position in the world.”
Take advantage of the close proximity of Artomatic 2016 at Park Potomac, 12435 Park Potomac Avenue, located at the Montrose Exit W of I-270 or just off Seven Locks Road.