Previous in This Series

Part 1 (Artomatic 2007)
Part 2 (Artomatic 2008)
Part 3 (Artomatic 2009)

For the past few weeks I’ve been uploading rough drafts of old blog posts that I originally wrote for my blog that I received as part of signing up for Artomatic. What happened is that the site gets wiped of old content every time a new Artomatic event is announced so all I have left is the rough drafts I wrote off-line using a HTML editor before I uploaded them on to the Artomatic site.

After the 2009 Artomatic there was a three year gap due to situations beyond my control. There was no Artomatic in 2010. There was an Artomatic event that happened in Frederick in 2011 but attending it was difficult. First there was the fact that Frederick is at least a half an hour’s drive (or even longer depending on the traffic) from my home.

But that wasn’t all. Earlier that year I fell twice in a two-week period. Those two falls not only came close to each other but they were enough to knock my hip replacement out of alignment so my walking began to decline for the first time since before I originally got my hip replacement in 2008. By the time Artomatic was announced my walking had became more painful and even walking with a cane became more and more of a challenge. The installation period of Artomatic began a week before my scheduled hip revision surgery, which would snap my hip replacement back into proper alignment so I could walk normally again. But then there was the issue of whether I would’ve been able to even serve any of the required volunteer shifts that all participating artists, filmmakers, and performers had to fulfill so soon after undergoing major surgery. So I opted not to participate that year. I had hoped to be able to attend at least once as a visitor but the event had ended by the time I was cleared by the doctor to resume driving again.

In the meantime the Occupy Wall Street movement had sprung up worldwide and I checked out three of those encampments (two in Washington, DC and one in Baltimore). But then my husband abruptly walked out on me just three days after Christmas (as well as three months after I underwent hip surgery) and I added emotional problems on top of physical problems.

A few months later there was another Artomatic announced for Crystal City in Virginia. I decided to sign up for that event. I initially thought about creating new art about my unexpected marital breakup (my husband didn’t even tell me that he was the least bit unhappy until the night he came home and announced that he was leaving) but I just wasn’t feeling up to it. I was still dealing with a husband who, one day, had appeared kind and loving towards me as he showed total devotion to taking care of me while I was recovering from surgery while, the next day, abruptly decided that he could no longer stand me and we had to get a divorce. (I later learned that there was another woman involved, she was one of our friends, and she was also the same person who had been battling serious mental health issues for much of her adult life but that’s another story.) That breakup was still too recent and raw for me to even contemplate doing anything creative based on it.

But then I discovered that someone had created Occupy Lego Land, which was a parody of the Occupy Wall Street movement as rendered in Lego. I decided to go one better and create Occupy the Dollhouse where I had dolls protest on behalf of the 99 percent. Here’s the original promo video for my exhibit that I created shortly before Artomatic began.

For my exhibit I wanted to emulate the DIY aesthetic I saw at all three Occupy encampments so I relied more on hand-written signs rather than have them printed on my computer. I opted to just tape my photographs directly to the wall using artist tape instead of framing them then nailing the framed photos to the wall.

For this Artomatic I basically decided to write about this only in this blog. (I don’t even remember getting a blogging account through the Artomatic site. Or maybe I was provided with a blogging account but I didn’t bother with using it. I don’t remember.) I practically lived at Artomatic that year because I wanted to escape my dim reality of my marital breakup.

I got plenty of positive feedback from visitors. I think that Artomatic was the most successful in terms of positive feedback. I was interviewed for this article about all of the political art that was on display at Artomatic that year (including my exhibit) but the article wasn’t posted online until a month after Artomatic had ended. Even though all of my photographs were available for purchase, I didn’t get a single sale.

After that Artomatic ended I decided to write one entry that was a list of all of the blog posts I wrote about Artomatic 2012 that I wrote as a “flashback” called Artomatic is Over. When this year’s Artomatic was announced and they were looking for volunteer bloggers, I submitted that post and I was accepted as an Artomatic blogger.

Well, anyway, that’s it for all of the old Artomatic posts. Artomatic 2015 will run until December 12 so if you’re in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area, you may want to check it out. Visit Artomatic.org for details and directions.

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