With galleries on each of its nine-stories, this year's Artomatic celebration overlooks Nationals Park and the city's monumental core, while featuring the work of more than a thousand artists of just about every discernible sort – painters, sculptors, videographers, musicians, tattooists, poets, dancers and more. And, to wash down that load of multimedia, bars and vendors -- including the Hard Times Café, Red Bull, Cake Love, Busboys and Poets and the Flying Dog Brewery – are scattered throughout. The city legislators present, including Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, touted this year’s festivities as the beginning of the “new 20003.”
“We’re no longer an emerging neighborhood. We’re here,” said Capitol Riverfront BID board member and Cohen Companies Executive Vice President Eric Siegel – who, in his acting his role with the latter organization, helped develop the Velocity Condominiums project a stone’s throw away at 1025 1st Street, SE.
BID officials are projecting that Artomatic will draw some 70,000 visitors to the neighborhood (now dubbed “The ‘Front” for short) during its five-week run. The exhibition is open to the public starting today, Friday, May 29th at noon. The opening gala will begin around 8 PM tonight and feature a fire dancers, 24 bands and performances and a discussion with PostSecret creator Frank Warren.
Artomatic 10 will close up shop on July 5th, but until then, the exhibition will available for perusal on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 pm – 10 pm; Fridays and Saturdays from 12 noon -1 am; and Sundays from 12 noon – 10 pm.
And, having just returned from the sneak peek, let me state it plainly: it's pretty kick-ass.