Visitors at Artomatic ‘s 2008 show view photographs by Graeme King. (Leah L. Jones/The Washington Post)

“Crystal City is the perfect partner to take Artomatic to the next level in 2012,” George Koch, a founder of Artomatic, said in a statement.

The local arts group was founded in 1999, but in recent years has run into difficulty finding real estate large enough to accommodate its increasingly popular show. At the most recent event in 2009, Artomatic drew more than 76,000 people to an empty office building owned by Monument Realty.

Three other buildings, two in Southeast D.C. and one in Northeast, were also being considered for this year's event.

This is the second year the event will be held in Crystal City, which also hosted the 2007 show.

“Artomatic was our first big event,” said Angela Fox, president and chief executive of the Crystal City Business Improvement District. “[It] helped us send the message that Crystal City was poised to transform.”

The show, which runs from May 18 through June 24, is free to attend. There is no criteria for submitted artwork, which is accepted on a first-come basis.