One year ago, I was hunting for vintage cigarette machines on Ebay. I had big plans. I wanted to make my very own version of an ‘Art-o-mat’ to distribute my wee paintings.

What 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 and 400 contributing artists.

I am a crazed fan of the ‘Art-o-mat.’  The machines are pure vintage loveliness and what’s not to embrace about distributing art through vending machines? So much better for your health than cigarettes, and better for your teeth than glucose laden fruit drinks.

I always have grandiose visions of taking on big art projects. But, I dropped this idea after a few days because I suddenly remembered that I am not a single art student living with my parents anymore.

I can’t help but think a restored vintage vending machine would be an incredibly cool way to distribute favors at a wedding. Handmade favors of course. Perfect for a small wedding, because you wouldn’t need a heap of homemade favors.

Thing is, you’d have to restore your own vending machine because the official ‘Art-o-mats’ are sponsored by arts organizations and/or individual patrons of the arts and distributed to public spaces such as museums, galleries, community spaces, boutiques etc.

Anyone up for a little DIY?

Photo One: Juxtapoz; Photo Two: Art-o-mat