Artomatic is a multi-week, multimedia arts event held in the Washington, DC area since 1999.
Washington Glass School has a long relationship with the DC-area arts showcase of visual art, music, film, performance, poetry and fashion. Tim Tate's artwork at Artomatic 2000 was seen by the curator of the Smithsonian's Renwick Museum, and that show both got his work into the Museum's permanent collection, and his sales at the show provided the seed money that started the Washington Glass School. Artomatic at Tenleytown's old Hechinger's space is where Tim Tate first saw the sculpture work of Erwin Timmers and they later teamed up to start the School & Studio.
Michael Janis' first showing of his glass artwork was at the glass room at Artomatic 2004, where the Washington Post's art critic Blake Gopnick slammed the show in his review "Hanging is too Good For It" - but noted about the glass: "Some of the glasswork looked all right. (Glass is such a gorgeous medium it's hard to screw it up, and you need some basic training even to begin to work in it.)" High praise indeed.
In 2007, the show was held in Crystal City, VA, in the old Patent Office. As a result of this Artomatic, Maurine Littleton Gallery began showing Michael's artwork.
|Photographer Tracy Lee captured the essence of the Artomatic mystery.|
At that Artomatic, drama ensued after Tim Tate's artwork "The Rapture" disappeared under mysterious circumstances. After the Washington Post "Reliable Source" reported the disappearance of the artwork, and newspaper reporter Amy Argetsiner, was sent a ransom demand ($10,000 in monopoly money) from someone named "The Collector " - along with a "proof of life" photo of the rocket from the artwork in front of the previous day's newspaper. The reporter went to the late night ransom drop in a city park and tried to catch the perpetrator as it all went down. In the next day Washington Post, the story was almost full front page of the Style section, along with their prime suspects.
The Post cast dispersions (along with thumbnail mug shots) onto : "Tim Tate glass sculptor, original
|The Artomatic ransom note sent to the Washington Post's Reliable Source|
Why him?: With a well-known flair for publicity, Tate was suspected by many at Artomatic of faking his own sculpture's disappearance.
He says:"I categorically deny it."
Alibi: Tate was by our side when we met The Collector at the ransom drop last year, so unless he's part of a broader conspiracy . . .
Michael Janis glass sculptor, friend of Tate's
Why him?: Artomatic gossips theorize that Tate's Washington Glass School colleague may have helped pull off the stunt.
He says:"I'm denying any kind of involvement."
Alibi:"Michael is too serious" for pranks, says DCArtNews blogger Lenny Campello.
Jesse Cohen art photographer, overseer of the Artdc.org forum
Why him?: Like the author of The Collector's manifestos, a big booster of the local arts scene; resembles the man at the ransom drop (young white guy, dark hair).
He says:"No . . . I thought it was really crappy of anyone [to take Tate's art]."
Alibi: Skinnier than the man we saw.
Kirk Waldroff printmaker and glass artist, colleague of Tate 's
Why him?: Has The Collector's build, coloring; his voice mail sounds like the man we talked to on the phone; Tate is a little too insistent that Waldroff can't be The Collector.
He says:[In a voice mail message] "No, I'm not The Collector"; says he'd be glad to talk more but he's leaving town in a few minutes. (Hmm, getting too hot around here?)
Alibi:"He seems too cool to be pulling stuff like that," says a fellow artist. "He's in a band.""
|Tim Tate created a new sculpture from the returned component, and the work was auctioned for the benefit of Artomatic.|
|UK artist Stephen Reveley's fused glass, photo by Caroline Angelo|
In 2009 the Artomatic was held at a new building near the new Nationals Baseball Statdium near Navy Yard Metro. This exhibition featured many glass artists from England. That year the Sunderland City Council had sponsored artists represented by Creative Cohesion to show glass, ceramics, paintings, bands and more, as part of the Sunderland, UK / Washington, DC Sister City agreement.
Artomatic 2012 is set to open May 18 - who knows what will be the result of this year's show!Have a look a the great video made by 2012 Artomatic :