In case you missed it, salon-style clusterfuck Artomatic is back from a three-year hiatus, and returning to Crystal City. It’s the show some love and others hate, likely for the same reason: Hundreds of artists are allowed to exhibit whatever they want, in equally sized spaces, on a first-come first-serve basis, for a fee. Talented artists, Sunday painters, people without a clue, diamonds in the rough, galleries, and collectives all play a part. In 2009 more than 1,000 artists participated, consuming eight floors of a building on M Street in Navy Yard. This year’s fest is even more ambitious, touting more than 1,300 exhibitors and performers over 10 floors, though the 2012 artist catalog does not include “fire” as a searchable medium. There will be other events throughout the six-week run, like beer and wine tastings and art demos from Utrecht.
Artomatic 2012 runs May 18 to June 23 at 1851 S. Bell St., Arlington. Free. artomatic.org.
Due to a reporting error, the original version of this City Lights pick misrepresented the number of exhibitors and performers at Artomatic 2012. The total is closer to 1300, not 500.