Monday, May 14, 2007

Artomatic closing weekend, May 18-20

Artomatic closing weekend, May 18-20, to offer more than 50 free events: After five entertaining, engaging and eye-popping weeks of art, performances and special events, Artomatic will go out with a bang during its closing weekend, May 18-20.

Tens of thousands of people have already visited Artomatic since it opened April 13 in Crystal City, Arlington, VA, viewing works and performances by more than 700 artists and taking part in hundreds of free, fun-filled events. Closing weekend will build on that momentum, offering more than 50 free activities, from film screenings and dance performances to poetry readings and art workshops. “Artomatic 2007 has been a rousing success, and we are throwing one heck of a party to send it off,” said George Koch, chair of Artomatic. “This is one weekend you won’t want to miss.”

Highlights of the closing weekend send-off include: • more than 30 live musical performances spanning everything from acoustic to “swankfunk mostergroove;” • a hands-on mobile-making workshop for adults and kids taught by artist Paul Sikora and an Indian tantric art drawing workshop, both on Saturday, May 19; • films such as “Tumaini Letu,” an award-winning movie that documents the struggles of people who are raising AIDS orphans in Kenya, on Saturday; • spoken word performances and poetry readings on Friday and Saturday; • “Night of the Living Theatre . . . by Dead Playwrights,” a comedy theater performance that calls on dead playrights to pitch their works to Hollywood, on Saturday; • Wes Crawford's "Rhythmic Murder Mystery" on Sunday, which challenges audience members to solve a mystery set to the beat of electronic drums; and • outdoor fire performances by Capital Fire Arts and Flights of Fire on Friday and Saturday; • a mural whitewashing with artist Trinka Margua Simon on Sunday at 7 p.m. Simon, who spent about 400 hours creating her 8th floor mural, will paint over her work on Artomatic’s closing night. The event will be filmed and played in reverse. Even people who’ve already made it to Artomatic this year will want to make a return trip, said Koch, noting that “with so many great, free activities, there is even more to see and do.”

Visitors will also want to be sure and check out one new addition to Artomatic — a display of historical patent documents on the sixth floor. Exhibited by patent researcher Randy Rabin, who rescued them from a shredder, the documents show patent drawings for inventions such as a Wright brothers flying machine, a rocket by space pioneer Robert Goddard and an electric light by Thomas Edison. The new exhibit is fitting because Artomatic is being held on two floors of a building formerly occupied by U.S. patent and trademark workers.

Held regularly since 1999, Artomatic features 90,000 square feet of paintings, sculptures, photography and other creative work. The event, which runs through May 20, is being held on the 6th and 8th floor of an office building at 2121 Crystal Drive, in Crystal City, Arlington, VA. The location is within walking distance to the Crystal City Metro station. Free garage parking is available evenings and weekends across the street from Artomatic (next to the Chevy Chase awnings), but visitors are strongly encouraged to take Metro.

April 13–May 20, 2007
2121 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Va.
Metro stop: Crystal City
Free admission, donations accepted

Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday: Noon–10 p.m.
Thursday: Noon–11 p.m.
Friday, Saturday: Noon–1 a.m.
Closed Mondays

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