We have Richmond’s only & Virginia’s first permanent
Art-o-mat machine.

artomatMACHV_webWhat is an Art-o-mat?

Art-o-mat machines are retired cigarette vending machines that have been converted to vend art. There are 82 active machines in various locations throughout the country.

What do you get from an Art-o-mat?

The experience of pulling the knob alone is quite a thrill, but you also walk away with an original work of art for just $5 + tax. What an easy way to become an art collector!

Can I get real art from the Art-o-mat at the Visual Arts Center?

You bet! You’ll find our Art-o-mat on the first floor between the letterpress studio & the elevator. Purchase tokens from the Education Associate at the front desk. Then make your selection, pull the knob, and savor the flavor of real art. Start your collection today. And, remember, a portion of every sale benefits the Visual Arts Center, too.

Will I recognize the names of Art-o-mat artists?

Our Art-o-mat features artists from across the nation and around the world. We always include at least one Richmond artist and many Art-o-mat celebrities and veterans.

The story behind Art-o-mat®

The inspiration for Art-o-mat® came to artist Clark Whittington while observing a friend who had a Pavlovian reaction to the crinkle of cellophane. When Whittington’s friend heard someone opening a snack, he had the uncontrollable urge to have one too.

Artists in Cellophane (A.I.C.), the sponsoring organization of Art-o-mat®, is based on the concept of taking art and “repackaging” it to make it part of our daily lives. The mission of A.I.C. is to encourage art consumption by combining the worlds of art and commerce in an innovative form. A.I.C. believes that art should be progressive, yet personal and approachable. What better way to do this than with a heavy, cold, steel machine?

Link:  more information about Art-o-mat and becoming an Art-o-mat artist.

Link: audio at WCVE-FM from May 24, 2011, Art & Coffee featuring artist Alyssa Salomon discussing the Art-o-mat.