Sunday, January 31, 2010

Art o Mat

Art can be shared in many many ways.

Lately the trend is going 'green'. Reclaimed materials are a very good way to do this but what about the vehicle with which to actually present the art it's self?

That's where Art o Mat comes in.

Art o Mat started in 1997 by Clark Whittington in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Whittington shared his black and white photography in a a local cafe, Penny Universitie (now Mary's Of Course Cafe). This is when Whittington used a recently-banned cigarette machine to create the first Art-o=mat. Each photograph sold for a dollar and was vended through a refurbished machine. These machines are now banned as a way to dispense cigarettes, what use would they be rusting in junkyards.

This is how Art o Mat began. Now, there are 82 active machines in various locations throughout the country vending all kinds of art, from watercolor paintings, sculpture, jewerly, organically produced soaps and more.

My first experience with Art o Mat was at a friends Studio in Kalamazoo. Bonnie Pfingst, owns and creates a variety of art in Tiny Studio. Bonnie invited me to her presentation of an Art o Mat machine, and my facination began!

Cigarette sized boxes are used to house each piece of art, whether it be a miniature painting or a sampling of papercraft or whatever creativity struck the artist. The refurbished Art o Mat machines often have themes. A list of locations and pictures of each machine can be found here.

By the end of February, I will have produced my prototype and submitted my finished box of art to Art o Mat. I can't wait to starkt Kerplunking.

For more information about Art o Mat, please follow the links provided.
For more information about Tiny Studio, please visit her at Facebook (link above) or attend Art Hop in Kalamazoo every first Friday night of the month.
Her studio is located at 326 W. Kalamazoo Suite #219 Kalamazoo, MI. Tell her Frann sent you.

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