Sheila White Guevin Photographer | the Insight project; executing a vision

the Insight project; executing a vision

October 20, 2015  •  1 Comment

Eye photos taken during Artomatic 2015


Artomatic 2015 opens the 30th of October and runs through the 12th of December--six weeks of the area’s largest collaborative artists’ show. The Artomatic experience includes 2D, 3D and performing artists with special event nights tossed into the mix. Un-juried. Uncensored. It is artistic freedom at its best. Think an overload of ideas and color. You don’t attend Artomatic as much as you immerse yourself and experience Artomatic.


For me, Artomatic began with a building in Arlington, VA in 2012. Paul and I were just two of the 70,000 plus visitors to attend the event and experience the work of over 700 artists. The impact was so profound that I can still recall many of the exhibits. A twelve floor office building was filled with paintings, drawings, photos, sculptures, lights and more and still my recall of some of the exhibits is crystal clear:

  1.       A photographer who put together visual triptychs of phrases like “rock, paper, scissors” “peanut butter and jelly sandwich” “duck, duck, goose”
  2.       An artist that collected postcards of people’s secrets. In anonymity, people revealed secrets they were willing to unburden through this project. You could add to the collection if you felt drawn to do so.
  3.       An artist whose nude photos of real women of all shapes and sizes had an interactive piece where you could post your own notes about body image and how the American advertising standard affected you and your life.
  4.       There were old book jackets made into pocketbooks and sculptures.
  5.       A collection photographs of vanity license plates.
  6.       A performance by Dance-a-fire. A troupe of performing artists who play with fire.

Two thoughts lingered with me, long after the exhibit was over. One is that in all my wanderings through museums and galleries, I had never experienced anything quite like Artomatic. The second was how much I wanted to participate as an artist instead of a patron.

My first step was to follow them through Facebook and to sign up for e-mails directly from their web-site (

In the three years that have passed since the last Artomatic, I’ve had plenty of time to imagine an exhibit. In my head, I have painted walls with chalkboard paint, exhibited just Cherry Blossom photos, produced exhibits of portraits, imagined a wall with only my best work, and wondered what if I could create an interactive exhibit piece.

Between real clients, managing my web-site, joining local art groups here in Maryland, and exhibiting, I still have quiet times when my imagination can run wild. In that free space, I created my exhibit a hundred different ways.

This past summer, Artomatic announced they found space and would go live again in October 2015. That is when the real work began. It was time to filter through the hundred random thoughts in my brain and create an executable game plan.

My first goal was to create a cohesive exhibit. Since it is un-juried, the responsibility to put together my exhibit was entirely on me.

My second goal was to attempt to put together something memorable that would stand out in the chaos of art overload.

My third goal was to find a way to make the exhibit engaging and interactive to the viewer.

From this thought process, “the Insight project” was born.

Jumping in where angels fear to tread has been a lifetime flaw of mine. So after I gathered up the first twenty photographs, I immediately went to booking the exhibit at other locations. It is an in for a penny, in for a pound philosophy. This also cranked up the pressure.

As I type this, photos are matted, framed and hanging in my Artomatic space just waiting for the opening. I’ve set up a working studio so people visiting the location have the option to sign a model release and have their eye macro shot added to the collection along with their written insight. I am hopeful that the patrons will find the project fun and memorable.

Going from photographer to a photographer that exhibits has been more about executing my vision than talent. About breaking the project down into doable pieces and executing it from the basic version to the complete vision.

And while I look forward to seeing and interacting with people at Artomatic 2015, my dream would be that my journey or work inspires another artist to break free and exhibit with the next Artomatic. 


Sheila White Guevin

20 October 2015


I loved stepping into the Artomatic space with the eyes. I would have loved to get mine taken. Great work!
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