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Artomatic

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture

Mission: Artomatic creates community, builds audience and expands economic development by transforming available building space into a playground for artistic expression. Open-entry events showcase creative work including visual art, music, performance, film, and fashion. Artomatic is a non-profit organization headed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Programs: Installed exhibition of 2 3 dimensional works at regan national airport

an artists holiday party which displayed artists, performers, musicians, live music and an art gallery.

an artists new year party which displayed artists, performers, musicians, live music and an art gallery.

Community Stories

36 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard about Artomatic from a friend on Facebook. I was later encouraged by a few other artists to apply to the show, which I was told was the biggest art show in Washington DC. This opportunity came at the perfect time because I had just finished a series of paintings of my two friends Alison and Marjorie, who are identical twins. The three paintings, which were painted in a realist style, portrayed these two young women nude with their arm or legs intwined, emphasizing their sensuality. Though I considered this series to be an artistic breakthrough, I had no venue to show these paintings. Participating in Artomatic, not only gave me the opportunity to show my work, it also allowed me to meet other interesting artists as well. One of these artists introduced me to the owner of MOCA DC Gallery in Georgetown. Since then I have exhibited my work in six shows at that gallery. Participating in Artomatic was an amazing experience! I would gladly encourage all artists in the Washington DC area to become part of this wonderful event!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Tiik Pollet and I've participated in the Artomatic Event 5 or 6 times. I love the enrichment of this wonderful venue. Where else can I find such an inspiring and transformative experience - being invited to share my paintings, photography, drawings and music all under the same roof, and with hundreds of other artists? This Artomatic community has become an important part of my life, heart, creative process and networking. I have benefited spiritually, creatively and financially. And my financially I mean I have sold one or two pieces...though I hope to sell more eventually. My guest book notes are great feedback, support and critique plus marvelous networking. My work shifts are handled well by all staffers, including once when I got really sick on my shift. Conflict with other artists have been handled well. EX: One artist put up a display cage in the middle aisle between my panel and the ones across from me...effectively blocking the view of both our works. The staff helped resolve this to everyone's pleasure by moving their display up to the windows. Ya had to be there...but if you were there last yr then you know the layout. When I set up my space everyone is very friendly about sharing paint or tools and ladders if they have them to lend for a few hours, etc. The fee to exhibit is reasonable and I appreciate that it has not increased because that would make a difference to me since as yet I've only sold 2 pieces and seem to be learning HOW to use the space to make a buck...mostly I am rewarded in other ways.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AOM really pushed me to become a professional artist. I recently decided to be a professional painter and then AOM arrived. So I did a website, postcards, artist portfolios, artist statement, bio...I sold paintings and gained a full mailing list. I got a lot of encouragement. I also appreciate that it was so affordable. I would definitely recommend it to any artist. Look how many people came to see it. Even as a simple visitor AOM has been an amazing experience. We should be proud to have this one of a kind festival in the DC area.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been painting in the DC area now for over 10 years, but it wasn't until I got involved with ARTOMATIC a few years ago that I really started to feel like part of the greater art community. ARTOMATIC really brings together so many artists and art organizations- I had no idea there were so many out there! And one of my favorite things about being involved with ARTOMATIC is the volunteer shifts. The show is electric and alive all the time!... a 4-hour shift feels like 20 minutes! My story begins my very first volunteer shift of ARTOMATIC. I was in the elevator no less when I begin chatting with another artist who had arrived to complete one of his volunteer shifts. After a night of working together, we became great friends. And a few short months later we collabarated on a children's book together- I did the artwork and he took all the pictures. I couldn't be prouder of what we accomplished. It just goes to show you the power in numbers!... and the magic of ARTOMATIC!

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a Brazilian artist, I live in Potomac for 20 years. I participate on teh first ARTOMATIC. It was a great experience! I met a lot of good artists there that I am friend until now. I would like to participate on the next one.I think is the best and big event in DC.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dear Artomatic, I enjoyed showing with your organization. The people I met were realy nice to me. One guy visiting my space told me I'm straight but I so get, understand you, and agree with you. The greatest thing I got from was the reaction from people of the Leather community. The pride they showed in me. The owner of the bar told me Andrew I hear so much about your show if there were two of me I'd go there. Thankyou again it was wonderfull. Andrew Campbell

9

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This is my first year participating even though I have been following Artomatic since its inception; I finally pulled myself together and signed up and it was such a thrill especially that it was unjuried, uncurated and only asked for $99. The rest was up to me and the mistakes and horrors were all of my own making but such a wonderful learning experience. It has opened up my pursuit in showing art in more demanding venues. I plan to do it again--this time with a little more experience under my belt and a clearer idea of my work, it will go smoother. Artomatic is a wonderful place to start and I can't wait for the next show.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Artomatic is an amazing opportunity for artists to get their work seen, and a great venue for those who love art or are new to viewing it. The volunteers who run Artomatic put their heart and soul into making it a well-organized and publicized event. Artomatic also offers music, poetry, and other performances as well as children's workshops.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Incredible opportunity to expose my art to a large, anonymous audience. Creating and selecting the work to display, prepping the site with paint, lights, handouts, and labels was more work than I ever imagined. Artomatic offers emerging and established artists as much or as little of a community as a person could want. It would be really awesome if there was more art creation occurring on-site, but to see 1000+ local artists on display is visual feast.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Artomatic is the only venue that has allowed me to experiment with things that I would have never done in a conventional space. Artomatic is an opportunity to push the limits, go off the mainstream and show some real art. I've participated in several Artomatics and look forward to taking part of it once again, Thank george Koch, you make it happen for DC artists! Carolina

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Artomatic is always a fun experience! I love meeting new people and experiencing all the different art that's offered. I also ran into several artists I hadn't seen in a long time and it was fun to get caught up! One of the highlights of Artomatic is to receive a BRASH poem--my two daughters, who exhibited, and I each received one! That was very special! I believe the volunteer hours are too long but they can be fun and full of surprises! In volunteering at the lobby, I once met a "she" who returned an hour or so later as a "he". I also volunteered for taking down the show. After a very hot afternoon of unscrewing panels, taking them down, stacking them, and moving them, our team was exhausted and just waiting for the "OK" to go home. Our supervisor first had us sit and "rest" for a few minutes. When he returned he offered us the most delicious popsicles ever!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Last year was my first time actually participating in Artomatic as an Artist. I wasn't sure of what to expect in terms of feedback of my work but I was glad to participate. I appreciate my experience even more considering I did my 4 or so hours of volunteering. This allowed me to get a idea of what goes on behind the scenes of setting up Artomatic. I hope to participate again this coming year.

4 lesliearnelle

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer for an event sometime last year. The whole experience from the artist to the location makes Artomatic a great aspect of Washington. DC. If you love art as a whole this place is must see. The experience is simply amazing!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Artomatic is one of the best exhibit opportunities in the area. Not only can you show off your work, but by volunteering, you strengthen your ties to other artists in the community. One reason I exhibit at Artomatic is to take advantage of the exposure it gives my work. I paint so people can see my work and buy it, so it would be foolish of me to ignore the tens of thousands of art lovers who visit Artomatic each year. Not only did Artomatic generate some sales for me (in a tough economy), but it generated interest in my work. During the exhibit, the number of visitors to my website nearly doubled, these visitors stayed longer and viewed more pages than normal, and I established relationships with a new crop of clients who are interested in adding my work to their collections. The other reason I exhibit at Artomatic is because as a volunteer, I strengthen ties with old friends and make new ones as well. Unless you take a class or are part of a group that draws or critiques, being an artist can be a lonely occupation. Artomatic gives me an opportunity to share what I do with a like-minded group of people. I am looking forward to this year's exhibit and plan to increase the number of hours I volunteer.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I assisted my non-profit arts group, Studio In-Sight in participating in the 2009 Artomatic. Our studio serves artists with disabilities in getting support in their work as artists and exposure of their talent. Artomatic was a great venue for us to show as we were able to be seen by thousands of artists and art lovers in a unique and supportive atmosphere. The volunteer Artomatic staff were incredibly helpful in getting us a good spot in the show and in supporting our cause. The only negative of the experience was that Artomatic does not normally allow "groups" to show, so we had to get a special approval from the managment. It would have been nice to have a "group" section in the application that is geared towards non-profits like ours.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Artomatic organization provides a tremendous service to the metropolitian DC area. The events provide the ability for the arts community to connect, and as a result, the DC region has developed into a strong arts center. On a personal level, my participation in Artomatic has allowed me to advance from a beginning artist to getting galleries to represent me, and to now showing in international arts events. My first Artomatic event was in 2004. I volunteered to do set up and coordination of other volunteers - allowing me to network with other artists in the region - which given the sprawling suburban nature of the DC area, would not have been possible. This exposure gave me access to galleries and started my art career. As a result, I had 3 gallery shows and became an artist of the Studio Gallery. The next Artomatic event, I continued my volunteer time, and was able to get coverage of my work in the Washington Post, as well as having an international gallery view my work and decide to represent my artwork. The next year's artomatic event incorportated artists from other parts of the country and from the UK. The most recent event allowed me to strengthen my networks with the local arts community, and also in creating a network overseas. As an instructor, I strongly encourage all students to particpate in the Artomatic events, and have seen similar stories to mine each year take place.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One of the coolest experiences of my life. Such a delight year after year. I look forward to it every year.

8 ellynweiss

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was one of the original band of artists in 1999 lucky enough to create the first Artomatic. We were offered 100,000 square feet of empty, grubby, ill-lit, jumbled space and over the course of 6 weeks we colonized it and transformed it into a vibrant beachhead of every possible kind of art and artist. And in many ways, we forged a community of artists who before that been scattered throughtout the city in our own small spaces. Then, two months and 20,000 viewers later, we deconstructed it, leaving just the spirit behind. Since then, Artomatic has become a DC institution, but my hope is that it will always maintain the spirit of spontaneity, surprise, openness and a little craziness that brought it to life.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience—I determined one of my print is in the Anacostia Museum, Smithsonian Institution. On Artomatic artists first opening night, a curator stopped by..I mentioned I thought a certain work might be in the Anacostia Museum. She said "Yes, it is." Because majority of the Talisman print series dealt with Asian subcontinent imagery,I had not shown most of the work in the United States. I thought the Artomatic venue might be a way to determine whether there was enough interest to make more prints from the plates. The imput from visitors was so enthusiastic it has propelled me to revisit the work. Inquires provided me with a sense of demographic profile that was surprising. Another plus was response of former students, who stopped by and left a message.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wow, do I love Artomatic! I usually go 2-3 times a year-- at least once with my young, art-loving son, and at least once with my husband. I found a great environmentalist architect there with whom I had a very good collaboration. My son was VERY excited to get a diorama he loved for his birthday. I am discovering my artist self and working toward a 2011 exhibit of my own fabric art.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is simple, was great to be involved with all members, great affords, great team, great art, great performers great topics. Is never a negative experience with artomatic. I leave far away so my time was limited to the voluntary schedule, I was wishing to go back but some how became expensed to pay hotels and eat on restaurants even more if the family is involved. Some time so much art together will make difficult to sale because people can not focus and I can not tell. Ones I have a printing business and I learned to do for a client no more than 2 designs to chose, the early times I tried so hard to please them and make few as my imagination can create, I was frustrated to see that the client have so much difficult to chose even if he like what he saw. Some time we ending in no selection. I see the same with to much art, this happen in my studio and the museum http://www.communitywalk.com/va/aibanez_museum_aim/map/124531 People really get impress but they do not know what to see. Hope every one be part of ARTOMATIC I can nevr be more thankful and happy with the experience.

6

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I took part in the first 3 Art-o-Matics. In 1999, at the old funky laundry building at Florida and 13th, I showed my art work for the first time, in conjunction with a good friend. It gave me the experience selecting work, mounting an exhibition, publicizing it, and marveling at the outpouring of the DC arts community, 250 people I believe participated. My second outing was at the old Sears/Hechinger's building on Wisconsin with a group of artist friends who had collaborated on an exhibition of our work at one of the venues Art Salon offered (long since converted to something else). I sold some work, which was a great boost. The third time at Waterside Mall was a particularly poignant experience. I had been chief of staff at EPA for 4 years, and was now returning for the first time to what had been the Agency's headquarters. The signs were still up in the library and I showed in a room with out much ventilation, one of the problems with the building when I worked there.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

It was a good experience. Great to partisipate in such a large gathering of a Washington D.C. artists' exhibition. Volunteering was a big part of exhibit and that area worked well with the artists.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I felt that ALL of the art works were substandard. It gave the impression that DC artists have absolutely no skill. Which, as a local artist myself, offended me. Perhaps in the future instead of an enormous exhibit of kitsch, you might consider a small exhibit of fine art... just a suggestion.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I have been involved with Artomatic twice: once as a visitor, and once as an artist. As a visitor, the experience was fantastic. Floor after floor of art, nonstop programming, food and alcohol - and no charge to get in! As a participant, however, the event was disorganized and frustrating. Each participant is required to volunteer for three shifts, which seemed reasonable. The problem was that each time I volunteered, I was told new or different guidelines, and none of the guidelines were followed correctly anyway. My first time volunteering, I was to take out trash on the freight elevator, but there was no one there to help bag the trash on each floor (I was not supposed to leave the elevator) and the process was extremely inefficient. No one knew who was supposed to be doing what, and if you left your post, you were scolded by the extremely immature and - for lack of a better word - mean volunteer coordinator. The second two times I volunteered, I was a floor guide, but was again treated like a child by the volunteer coordinator, who clearly had set her own rules and would get angry at anyone trying to actually enjoy the experience. I was supposed to stay on the floor with my partner, one of us covering the entrance area to the floor and the other looking for people who might be stealing art. At the same time, I had to help the person selling drinks, the trash person, and people from other floors because they were given conflicting instructions and no one knew exactly how it was supposed to work. The volunteer coordinator never once came by to ask us if there was something we needed, and one time, my replacement didn't show up at all (I had to leave my partner's replacement there by himself). Next year I will go to Artomatic as a visitor, but I will never again participate. I urge Artomatic to find a new volunteer coordinator who has people skills and an understanding of how to manage groups, and I urge participants to get their volunteer shifts over with early so that they can enjoy the event the rest of the month.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A few years ago my daughter took me to my first Artomatic. It was a delight to the senses. The various artists, some professional, some just beginning were placed on equal footing in the same space. Each with their own moment of honesty to share. Some of the sharing was glaring, and some tugged at your heartstrings. Artomatic is what true art is all about. A place for the creative side of mankind to be shared. I vowed that in 2009 I would participate as an artist. Scarey, hard, requiring some committment - YES. Worthwhile - YES. Art changes your life. It changes the way you think. Art is like finding water in a desert or flying through a cloud. It provides you with something that is required, demanded for living. I created a Vegan Pig Farm. As I started to set up my display I found myself surrounded by professional artists. I felt honored, enriched, grateful. I was standing among the few, the dedicated, the talented. Artomatic had provided me with a platform, and opportunity to say something of value from my perspective. As you walk through the many floors of art, and you stop to admire the different, the pretty, the shocking, and the brilliant - you began to understand how art is so important for our existance and our ability to go forward. It challenges us not to accept the status of now, but to imagine the "what if." I am so grateful to artomatic for including me in its miracle.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first visited the Artomatic in 2008 and instantly fell in love with the mass collection of creativity. In 2009, I had enough money saved up to display a few pieces and jumped at the opportunity. The whole experience was lifting as friends and strangers appreciated my art work, but what really got me pumped was meeting the other artist. There were plumbers who painted, accountants who took pictures and lawyers who molded metal. It really taught me that no matter what I did with my life, there would be time for art.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My artwork is kind of quirky and I don't think my paintings could ever get gallery representation. I went through about 2000 business cards during the month of Artomatic and got exposure I could never imagined. I sold most of the paintings that were hanging and I've had 43 commissions since! It was such a positive experience and I look forward to getting more involved in the future!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Of all of the places that I have had the opportunity to perform, Artomatic 2009 was by far my favorite experience, so far. I am a great admirer of graffiti art, so having the backdrop of the stage covered with such art was a great start. Performing with such a diverse group of performers, and being surrounded by unique art that you would have to attend multiple galleries to see, was incredible! I spent the rest of the day, in between performers, checking out each floor of art. A week later, I came back again to focus solely on the different art exhibitions. I was floored. The inspiration of that event is still with me. I plan to come back next time!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Artomatic gives local, national and international artists the chance to show their work without going through a juried process first. For the public, it is a free exhibit of literally thousands of pieces of art for anyone from kids to adults to enjoy. The eduction programs and marketplace are big favorites of mine as well.

7

Former Volunteer

Rating: 2

It started out well but ended up bad. I would like to see more appreciation for the board members and hired staff. After the work was finished, I was treated like a 3rd class citizen in dealing with my contributions. The experience has really really made me think twice about participating again. The other volunteers I met were great!! It was the few at the top that felt a strange entitlement to be aholes about whose art was important enough to block by business interest. If someone ask me what I thought about the organization knowing the politics that was flying around for the last two going on three years I would say that the organization wants to be FOR-PROFIT and want to place “certain” people in paid positions without looking at the “little people” that got them there in the first place. It was a good idea but its quickly morphing into a “you’re not like me” club of arrogant people that forgot the reason why and how artwork should be seen.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Three years Artomatic gave me the opportunity to plan and show my first art exhibit. So when I decided to return to work as a filmmaker, Artomatic was the obvious subject for a feature length documenary. That film will feature the art and music of Artomatic alumni who have gone on to become successful as well as interviews with these artists and members of Artomatic's board. To be sure, Artomatic's leadership had been critical to the development of this film project. Jay D. Krasnow Filmmaker/Director Journey to the Center of Artomatic www.artomaticvoyage.com

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Artomatic is my favorite DC art scene to recommend to folks looking for art in the city. It features upwards of 1,000 local artists, and I love that the space is open for a variety of levels of talent and genre. Best of all, it's free/by donation and hence is open to all people to enjoy. Last year was my first artomatic experience, and I'll be sure not to miss it again!

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i visited this summer and was very inspired. i'm an artist, not a visual artist, but it inspired me to write more and try and audition for more theater productions. as a person who has a lot of artist friends in the dc area, it was wonderful to see that they had a great medium for which to display their work. it's a nice space, too. i love the urban feel that the cement floors and exposed ceilings give to the place. very New York. loved it.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Artomatic has made art a part of my life in ways I never could have imagined. When I stumbled upon my first event in 2007, I was stunned at the amount of creativity lurking in what often seems a dull government town. I could just picture lawyers and lobbyists coming home after work and making time to do this other stuff -- painting, building, editing photos, whatever they do. I even ran into someone I knew standing by his circuit board installation, and I would have never guessed he was an artist! In 2008, I went back several times and took different friends each time. Spending so much time with the installations and discussing the work with so many people drove home to me that art isn't just for high-falutin' arTISTEs, it's something anyone can do. So in 2009, I got up the nerve to show some of my own photos. It was scary and thrilling to stand up and declare myself as a creative person, and I got tons of great encouragement from other participants and friends who visited. I have about six ideas for things I could do at the next one, and I'm now on the lookout for other creative outlets. I even joined a band! I can't think of another experience that would have brought this creative spirit out in me -- the scale, the openness, and the accessibility of this annual event are unparalleled. Many thanks to the people who work all year round to make it happen.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for Artomatic has been an incredible experience. I help with marketing, and working with Artomatic has been a great way to meet new people like me for work + fun. It has shown me more about DC than I ever could have expected to see! After I lost my job during layoffs in 2008, Artomatic made it possible for me to continue my work on my own and has helped me establish a great network of freelance jobs, all of my first ones with people I met at Artomatic. There is no other more open, accessible, and inclusive art or social scene in DC - and we put on an awesome show!