Friday, August 13, 2010

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

Art by Vending Machine

It's a small baby step to get people in the habit of living 
with art and collecting art, and just having fun.
~ Clark Whittington, Artist, Art-O-Mat® Creator
Art-O-Mat® at Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Fun stuff! The Luce Foundation Center at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., now has its own Art-O-Mat®, a late 1950s National Consoline Vending machine found near Nashville, Tennessee, that was installed July 23. Insert a crisp $5.00 bill, make a choice, pull the handle, and the repurposed, fully functioning machine will dispense an original acetate-wrapped artwork. 

The brainchild of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, artist Clark Whittington, the Art-O-Mat® machine is one of more than 80 to which more than 400 artists from 10 countries contribute cigarette-package-size paintings, jewelry, prints, sculpture, collage, and mixed media works. This Flickr stream documents the process of converting a machine into an Art-O-Mat® installation. From this abbreviated list of artists, select a name, click, and then view the image in the pop-up window to get an idea of what's offered.

Whittington first got the idea in 1997 while preparing for a solo art show. He obtained a cigarette vending machine made obsolete by no-cigarette-vending laws and retrofitted it to sell, for $1.00 a piece, his cigarette-package-size black-and-white photographs. (He put his paintings on the walls.)  Such was the delight over the machine that it remains in its original Winston-Salem location today, a local cafe now known as Mary's Of Course Cafe. Subsequently, Whittington and a group of other interested artists formed Artists in Cellophane, now the sponsoring organization for Art-O-Mat®. 

Want to know if there's an Art-O-Mat® near you? Go here. The machines are in locations, including art museums, in at least 24 states (at 21 sites in North Carolina alone) and the District of Columbia. They also can be found in Quebec, Canada; Surrey, England; and Vienna, Austria. 

Go here to take a look at some of the many cool machines in use. (Click on each image to enlarge the view.)

Just $5.00 for an original work of art! How could you possibly go wrong?

There are a number of Art-O-Mat® videos on YouTube. Here's just one featuring Clark Whittington, who talks about the idea and how it's evolved.

Chihuly + Alfonso Collaboration

My friends at Mosaic Art Now recently wrote about the Chihuly Collection at Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Florida—the magnificent result of a collaboration between the internationally acclaimed glass artist Dale Chihuly and the equally esteemed Cuban-born architect Alberto Alfonso.

I cannot improve on MAN's post. Go and spend some time with the images there. The stunning Carnevale-inspired "Float Boat", pictured below, is just one of the enticements.

Dale Chihuly, Float Boat, 2010, 3 x 4-1/2 x 12'
Photo by Scott M. Leen

Alberto Alfonso

Lennie Bennett, "The Grand Designer" in St. Petersburg Times, June 6, 2010

Paul Anater, "A Backstage Tour of St. Petersburg's Chihuly Collection", July 11, 2010

CAFE: Online Calls for Entry System

The Western States Art Federation, a nonprofit arts service organization devoted to creatively advancing and preserving the arts in the West and to providing arts-related technologies to clients throughout the United States and Canada, has created a new Web-based arts tool: CallForEntry, or CAFE™.

CAFE™ is designed to facilitate the submission and management of applications for calls for artists, particularly artists for public art projects, fellowships, and juried visual arts competitions. Arts organizations and their administrators can use the system to manage artists' applications and jury processes; artists, who pay no fee to register or use CAFE™, can use the system to submit digital images of their artwork and provide other information required of respondents to calls for entry or other events. Currently, more than 40,000 artists have registered and have active profiles in the CAFE™ system.

Details on how to apply are here. An online demonstration of the system, which is customizable, can be arranged. A complete description is here.

Other technology systems created by WESTAF, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, include ArtJob, an online arts job bank with national listings; ArtistsRegister, an online gallery that connects visual artists with collectors, gallery owners, art enthusiasts, and others; ZAPPlication™, an online application and adjudication system for art fairs, festivals, and shows; and CultureGrantsOnline™, which facilitates management of grant-making processes. WESTAF also created the Cultural Vitality Index, a research-based tool to measure and generate comparable data about the health of an area's creative sectors.

Be sure to check WESTAF's resource-rich Annotated Arts Links for the arts community. It covers visual and literary arts, folklife, arts education, accessibility issues, tours, media resources, state and regional arts agencies, and international arts.


D.M. SOLIS said...

This is so cornucopiate with brilliant links I don't know where to begin. How dare you? How dare you start my day with this candy-store full of art and creative possibility. What a gift at the start of the weekend. Thank you.

M.L. Gallagher said...

I agree with D.M. Solis -- wow!

(I think the Chihuly link may be broken.)

And thank you for the CAFE link -- we met last night to talk about our TMC Society that we've just formed -- and this link is an incredible resource!


have a wonderful weekend.


Maureen said...

The Chihuly site ( is not responding, so I've removed the link until I can test it again later today. Thanks, Louise, as always for reading and commenting.

D.M.: Thank you for the lovely comment.

Hannah Stephenson said...

Yay yay yay! Celebration of art and inspiration.

Like those art vending machines, I have seen art trucks (a take on food trucks) here in L.A., and lots of pop-up art shops. Combine this with Etsy's existence, and has there ever been a time when art was so accessible?

n. davis rosback said...

i find the art-o-mat to be very interesting.
the video of Clark Whittington telling how his idea became what it is today. and the piece at the end of the vid when he is talking about touching, buying, holding...

americans buying and touching for the desire of making it personal, verses un-touching, un-buying, un-personal art of museums.

a lot of interesting ideas all wrapped up together.

n. davis rosback said...

oh, and i also liked the fact that the video took me behind the pretty display.

the work room, the old machines, totes of art, the old dog resting in the background...the person.

Maureen said...

Isn't the Art-O-Mat idea great fun? I watched a number of videos, selecting this one because of what you note, Nancy. I just have to go down to SAAM and try my luck. For $5, what's not to like?

I thank all for their comments.

S. Etole said...

Whenever I visit the Mayo Clinic the glass work by Chihuly is always a must "stop and take a deeper look."

Nancie Mills Pipgras said...

Thanks for the link to Mosaic Art NOW, Maureen. Art-o-Mat - BRILLIANT! Thank you so much!