November 02, 2010

A new obsession: Real Miniature Art in Vending Machines

I think I found a new obsession.

As a longtime dollhouse and miniatures collector, I already had a love for all things small. So, I naturally gravitated to this news story I found about an artist in Germany selling miniature art in old vending machines. Neat idea, I thought.

Then I read the comments and realized that this wasn't a new idea. Apparently, I'd been missing out on something interesting, namely "real" miniature art sold for a "small" price in old cigarette machines across the US. Great way to recycle those old machines, too!

(Image: Art*O*Mat machine, McHenry County College, Crystal Lake, IL)

Art*O*Mat has been offering the miniature vending machine art since 1997. The art, most selling for $5, with half going to the artist, includes a range of subjects and formats as seen in this sample gallery.

Since I'm interested in these for specific purposes, I saw several items that were interesting such as a piece in a small tote bag, some on blocks, pictures in fold-out booklets, a small book, and a picture with two dogs that I really liked. Art*O*Mat's art is sized 2 1/8" x 3 1/4" x 7/8".

* Find Art*o*mat locations

Unfortunately, none of the machines are close to me so I'll have to keep a list in mind when I get to those areas.

Anyone buy something at one of these machines? I'd love to see what kind of art you got and hear what you thought. I still think it's a really cool idea, especially for miniatures collectors!

1 comment:

  1. I've never bought any, but I've seen the machine. They used to have one in the lobby of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in Louisville. And a friend of mine used to paint items for them. I don't think she's done that for a couple of years, but some of her stuff might possibly still be in one, somewhere. Her name is Ardis Moonlight, and she's a writer as well as an artist.

    Marian Allen


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