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Artomatic 2012: Massive Art Show Sets Up Shop In Crystal City (PHOTOS)

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ARTOMATIC 2012
Artist Deb Jansen recreated her Flint, Michigan childhood living room in the 2012 Artomatic. | Brandon Wetherbee

ARLINGTON, Va. -- It's been three years since the last Artomatic opened its doors to artists from around the country. The never-in-the-same-place twice, open-to-all art show opens Friday in an 11-story office building at 1851 S. Bell St. in Crystal City.

The venue that helped break PostSecret, Artomatic is a truly democratic forum for visual artists, filmmakers and performers. A $110 submission fee and agreeing to three randomly assinged volunteer shifts is all any artist over the age of 18, good or bad, had to do to participate.

Unlike most art galleries, 100 percent of the proceeds from each sale go directly to the artist. Another difference is the placement of the work. Without curation, artists are able to choose what floor and office they want to show their work. Nine of the 11 floors showcase visual art with seemingly no rhyme or reason why family-friendly paintings are side by side with sculpture that is reminiscent of a set from the "Saw" franchise.

The 2012 iteration of Artomatic is the largest to date, with more than 1,100 artists participating. That number will increase with each day of the monthly installation. The sixth floor of the building will be an "Art Reactor," a space where visitors will be able to create their own art with supplies provided by the space.

Another addition to the space is a marketplace that will allow patrons the chance to purchase and take home the art before the closing of the space. While most of the art is for sale, some is 100-percent temporary, constructed in part using the existing office building structure.

Artomatic opens this Friday 6 p.m. and will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 1 a.m., Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. There is no cover and the space is all ages.

Click on the slideshow below to view an extensive slideshow sampling all floors of the upcoming Artomatic.

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