Wednesday, May 23, 2012

vibrant world of art in Crystal City

Rosslyn's younger sister city Crystal is hosting a massive, free Artomatic art festival through June 23.  If you're running back and forth in your well-worn rut and need some new inspiration and new ideas, you'll find wonders at Artomatic.  If you're just looking for something to do, go to Artomatic as many times as you have empty evenings.  Artomatic is like Artisphere, but hundreds of times bigger.  That means that you are nearly certain to find art that makes you say "wow", that makes you smile, that makes you think, and that makes you feel good inside.

At Artomatic you can find an amazing room installation in which Nate Lewis connects the body to music.  Lewis works as a Registered Nurse at the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at the Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church.  He has found artistic inspiration in his job:
The first thing that I drew for fun was a cluster of red blood cells. Why red blood cells? Partly because I love anatomy and physiology , the design, the processes, the architecture, the relationships of the different systems and hierarchies within the body, the precise, calculated nature of it all, it never ceases to amaze me. ... Also because it's something that the naked eye cannot see and I often find the most meaning in aspects of life that I cannot see. Lastly because from a scanning electron microscope image they look really cool and red and blobby.
Just a few minutes in Lewis' room installation will help you to find art in your job.

Tom Noll shows lyrical possibilities in bending rebar.  Rebar is typically used to re-enforce concrete or stone-block structures, such as bomb-proof raised beds for gardening.  However, rebar can also be beautifully bent and hold up curiously shaped rocks in unusual positions. Noll's installation of his sculptures at Artomatic nicely contrasts with the regular structure of the buildings beyond the wall of his work.  Construct the extraordinary from the usual!

On Artomatic's opening night, a long line of persons eagerly waited to enter.  Artomatic is expected to attract 80,000 visitors to Crystal City.  That's great for local economic development.  More generally, design, creativity, and innovation are keys to economic development in post-mass-production economies.  Speaking at Artomatic's opening, Ivan Duque of the Inter-American Development Bank described Artomatic as democratization of the arts and an important engine of economic development.  He said that he favors bringing events like Artomatic to South America.  The Ode Street Tribune favors bringing events like Artomatic to Rosslyn.

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