It’s hard to believe, but there are only a few days left to experience Artomatic@Frederick. I’ve been multiple times, but new things keep revealing themselves.
With 350 artists exhibiting in two buildings, it’s impossible to process it all if you only have a limited time to visit. With that in mind, here are 10 exhibits that are a little off the beaten path and shouldn’t be missed. Art is subjective, but at least this will give you a starting point.
BUILDING 2, 117 CHURCH STREET
Phyllis Mayes, Room 36
You might remember Phyllis from Artomatic@Frederick 2011. She showed several small, beautifully-painted self portraits. This time she’s branched out with drawings, paintings and a mixed-media sculpture called Boat (Not Seaworthy). Everything is gorgeously rendered and well thought out. Her work is my top pick out of all of Artomatic.
While you’re in the “neighborhood,” check out Charlie Hyland’s photographs in room H3. A lot of photographers enjoy shooting abandoned spaces, but Charlie has a knack for finding places we haven’t seen before. I keep thinking about the dream-like Delmarva at High Tide.
Scott Ruetten, Room 34
I first came across Scott and his work when doing some volunteer hours. He kept bringing in dozens and dozens of paintings that were supposed to fit on two not-so-big walls. I was skeptical. Turns out, the individual paintings are well done, but even better is the effect of them all together. It reads as a big, exuberant puzzle.
I remember this room from touring the empty building. It was huge, but otherwise not at all impressive. Now it is the most polished and professional space at Artomatic. There are sculptures by Luc-Alain Fiedler and colorful, mostly abstract paintings by Linda Slattery Sherman, Donna Yarish, Jayma M. Kessing, Lori N. Rounds, Marion L. Griffin and Spencer Hines, and photography by Nita Hines.
On Saturday from 5-8, they will be doing a group painting in the demonstration room at 115 Church Street. You can enter the raffle for a chance to win the completed work signed by all of the participating artists.
BUILDING 1, 115 CHURCH STREET
Elsabe Dixon, Room 11
Elsabe’s installation, “6,000 Silkworms” is lacy and organic with interesting negative space. And did I mention the 6,000 silkworms?
In room 7E, Ed Stockman has created the most original piece I’ve seen in a long time. At first glance it’s a black and white drawing of a woman. Closer inspection reveals that it’s made up of 10 layers of strategically-cut black metal screen, lit from above and from the back. It works a bit like the dot patterns of a halftone. The more layers there are of the screen, the darker the image. The photos I took didn’t do it justice. You’ll have to trust me, make sure you see this one!
If you venture into the adults-only room, you can’t miss the oil paintings of an artist who calls himself Ding Dong Ralph. I hesitate to recommend them. They are somewhat disturbing, definitely vulgar and laugh-out-loud funny. Sorry, no photos of this bunch.
Rita Elsner’s large pastel drawings are in the hallway on the second floor. The impeccable draftsmanship makes us believe the unbelievable: A flying subway token, a crash-landed birdcage from the vantage point of an airplane window.
There are so many talented landscape painters exhibiting at this show it’s hard to choose a standout. That said, I recommend Sarah Wardell’s room 10. She mostly shows small, unframed land and seascapes. There tends to be a lot of sky, often at sunset — or is it sunrise? She’s painted the walls of her room in similar colors and gradations, mimicking the sky. If you walk by the building at night, her room absolutely glows.
Kate Kinley, Room 66
Kate’s space also enhances her art. She specializes in dreamy, ethereal photos and everything about her wall reinforces her vision. The color, signage and mural add up to a sophisticated presentation. Imagine my surprise when I read her bio and found out she is just 16. Wow. Let’s not talk about the art I was making at that age . . .
Artomatic@Frederick ends October 5 at 11 p.m. Is there something at the show that you think everybody should see? If so, email Karen Peacock at firstname.lastname@example.org with a few sentences about the work. Photos are welcome, with a maximum size of 1MB.