Here's my plug for you, if it is at all possible, to get to DC to see the extravaganza of arts that is Artomatic. Not only are there 8 floors of visual artwork of all kinds by area artists, (and even some glass artists from England) but there are musical shows, comedy shows, and places to buy food and drink. It is exciting to be in a place which is the fruition of hundreds of creative minds. It's also just fun!
My husband, son and I went up last night for Meet the Artists, and although we did get to 5 of the 8 floors, this is a place where you need to go back a couple of times to see it best. Parking (when there is no Nationals game is $6 right under the building. Entry to Artomatic is free.) There were two artists I knew were going to be there, so we looked at the handy chart you get as you enter on the first floor of 55 M St., SE, saw where Tracey Clarke and Lisa Osgood-Dano were and headed off to find them first.
Tracey's spot is on the third floor, and I got to see her mythical creations on canvas and read her stories up close and personal. She has a show in November in the Members' Gallery at FCCA, so she and I have been in conversation about that, but I have been reading her blog for about 8 months and find her work really amazing.
Lisa is a glass mosaic artist and her work is almost more of an assemblage of all kinds of elements from fossils to stone to tile to I'm not sure really what-all. But it is magnificent. Check her out. She is associated with the Washington Glass School which had a large presence up on the 9th floor.
Along the way back and forth (yes, we took the stairs!) I ran into the work of these four artists whose work really appealed to me. I got to talk with Pam Rogers, who uses plant juices, earth, coffee, handmade paper--lots of things she encounters in her everyday life--to help create her wonderful works. I was really drawn to them and their feeling of bundled up, almost stifled, energy ready to burst out in beautiful, vital color.
I also loved the work of Johanna Mueller and Ginny Kinsey, both printmakers. Johanna's work, from engravings on hard plastic plates, is very detailed. The prints are filled with dark humor and creatures which look to be out of Grimm's fairy tales, but have a very personal narrative. She has just finished a MFA in printmaking from George Mason and teaches her craft in the NVA and DC area.
Ginny's work is whimsical and graphic. I liked especially her images of a little girl character variously riding her bike, listening to a boom box and dj-ing--Sassy (or Sass?) with her hands on her hips was my favorite. I believe her work is mostly done from lino cuts. I did not get a chance to meet Ginny.
I also missed meeting Ellen Cornett, whose pastels are brightly colored, drawing on childhood memories, favorite dolls and stories, mixed up and reborn as vigorous, interesting tales of their own.
My 16 year old son really enjoyed the participatory displays and the one by the Post Secret creator, Frank Warren who was there signing books last night.
Oh, and just a short metro ride from the Artomatic site, conveniently located on top of a metro stop, is Oyamel, a fantastic tapas restaurant where we ate dinner last night.
July 5th is the closing date. Don't miss it!