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In which our art critics highlight their favorite works on view at Artomatic

Anyone who heads straight to the cafe on the first floor of Artomatic is bound to stop in Jeanan Humphrey‘s room, which contains the work “Disconnect.” It’s an installation that features a tent, some games in a cooler, and a couple of folding chairs. A tree and cotton clouds cling to the wall—-the kind of decoration a crafty mother might concoct to make a child’s bedroom more inviting and fun. Considering Humphrey’ bio on the Artomatic website says she is a mother of a 15-year-old kid, that probably isn’t far from the truth. While the title suggests a disconnection from smart phones or social, the work is promoting a different kind of connection—-something personal. Words With Friends may be a fun app, but isn’t playing Scrabble with a friend face-to-face over a beer or a s’more more enjoyable? [Yes—-ed.] Despite the fabricated natural setting—-with artificial grass turf and a plastic mirror ceiling to echo the cloud on the wall—-the installation also reminds viewers that it is fun to connect with the world beyond the studio display. It’s a helluva first piece to stumble upon in Artomatic, one that could probably motivate the masses to skip the building and go find the nearest REI. There’s probably an app for that.