To the Editor:

For Tyler Green (Letters, Dec. 1) to say that Art-O-Matic cheapens the quality of art in Washington is to misunderstand the nature and purpose of Art-O-Matic and the changing art scene in Washington and elsewhere.

Art-O-Matic works because of the willingness of 700 artists to work together to not only show their art but to cooperate to present a scene where the public can come day and night to see art, plays, bands, improv, cabaret and film at no cost.

Of course a non-curated show attracts artists of varying ability but that is not to say that respected known artists and talented newcomers are not among the 700.

A show that exhibits the work of 700 self-selected artists in an atmosphere of accessibility takes nothing away from galleries and other artists but actually encourages attention to art by providing a fun and comfortable spot for people to view art in a more informal way.

I hope that more established artists will think about participating in the next Art-O-Matic or other alternative group shows.

In my several visits to Art-O-Matic, I saw hundreds of persons whom I have never seen at other openings. Part of this show's success was the extensive coverage by art critics and feature writers who spread the word and encouraged the public to see for themselves. I hope all who came will go to future gallery openings and open studios and help enliven the art scene in Washington.

Molly Ruppert


Letters should be sent to: Arts Editor, Style Section, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. E-mail should be sent to Please include daytime and nighttime phone numbers and an address. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.