Artomatic Creative Arts Festival Makes Its Return to Crystal City

Artomatic 2007 in Crystal City

Artomatic for the people: Patrons admire photographer Geoff Ault’s work at the previous Crystal City Artomatic show in 2007. (ElvertBarnes via Flickr)

It’s back, that sporadic Washington, D.C., area festival featuring artists of all stripes: Artomatic. And I do mean all stripes: visual, music, film, performance, poetry and fashion. That’s more stripes than a tiger … but not as pretty.

This year’s arts extravaganza takes place in Crystal City in Arlington from May 18 to June 24. So the lucky Crystal City-area renter has more than a month to soak up all this art.

I went to an earlier Artomatic held in Southeast, Washington, D.C., and liked it. According to their site: “Artomatic creates community, builds audience and expands economic development by transforming available space into a playground for artistic expression.”

[ Related: Northwest’s Kreeger Museum Takes Art Outdoors ]

And all you mere amateurs out there, you too can participate in Artomatic, as it’s a non-juried event. While it’s too late to register this year, keep this in mind for future festivals. You don’t have to be a dime-store Joan Miró to be part of the fun, either; you can also volunteer.


View Larger Map Artomatic
1851 S. Bell St.
Arlington, Va. 22202

I know it’s a cliché, but I’ll say it anyway: The best thing about this is that it’s free. OK, maybe one of the best things. But still, free’s free. Because it’s free, they need your support. Here’s another way to support them: Buy some Artomatic gear.

In 2009, the last year the festival was held, Artomatic attracted more than 76,000 patrons who saw the work of 2,500-plus performers and artists. These are huge numbers no matter how you look at it. This year’s partners include the Crystal City Business Improvement District and Washington City Paper.

[ Related: Shirlington’s Signature Theatre Takes Lead Role in Area Arts Scene ]

There will be food and drink here (beer, wine), so you can really make a night of it. Artomatic generally takes place in the evenings and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. On Fridays and Saturdays it stays open to 1 a.m. As always, check the site for further details.

Another great thing about this event? It’s literally across the street from the Crystal City Metro stop on the system’s Blue/Yellow Line.

Really, this is one of the most unique festivals you’ll find anywhere – and it’s right at your doorstep.

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Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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