Small artwork affordable to the masses, some of it factory-produced and some handmade. We’ve written about this phenomenon before and love stumbling on to new examples. The latest? Art-o-mat, a cigarette vending machine converted to dispense cigarette-box-size art for $4 to $7. Actually, the Art-o-mat has been around for a decade, the product of a Winston-Salem, N.C., artist. How appropriate.
North Texas just got its first, one of only 80-some in the country (including one at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York). It was delivered last week to art251, a brand-new gallery in Keller. “Typically, gallery goers get this impression that all the art is too expensive,” says Mike Gerra, who owns art251 with his wife, Kim Fowler Gerra. “Art-o-mat is a way for us to debunk that myth, to make art more accessible.”
The gallery will hold a series of grand openings from Sept. 13 to 27 and plans to have Art-o-mat creator Clark Whittington in town for a couple of days.
With a few bucks and the pull of a knob, you can start an art collection or build on those artist trading cards and designer toys you’ve been gathering. Like ATCs and anime-inspired art toys, the Art-o-mat blends Industrial-Age commerce with the 21st Century idea of a personalized art experience.
About 400 artists have pieces in the machines. If you’re interested in participating, there’s a submission process.