What a fun way to find a new local artist -- no ifs, ands or butts!! Taking their inspiration from the established Art-o-Matic company, Oddball Art Labs, turns vintage cigarette machines into a much healthier version – dispensing art! Scroll down for a peek at a few locals who have participated...
Mike Rende, from this non-profit, states that it owns two refurbished cigarette machines designed to be placed at local businesses around Elgin, IL. One is on wheels, and one is stationary.
Oddball Art Machines are repurposed 1950’s cigarette vending machines converted to sell artwork the size of cigarette packs, 3-1/4” x 2-1/8” x ¾” deep, for only five dollars each. There are 21 slots available in the larger machine, seven in the smaller, each of which contains artwork by an individual artist.
There’s also a MYSTERY CHANNEL containing a mixture of different artists’ work that has almost sold out -- shuffled together -- so buyers don’t know what they’ll get.
“We stock the machines with Chicago-area artists only so buyers can get to know that individual,” explains Mike. “Working small, gives artists a chance to take more chances, to have more freedom of expression, which they could later expand into a larger piece.”
Participating artists pick up premeasured, pre-cut blocks from Mike. The amount will fill a cigarette package row, extending from the front of the machine to the rear, where once a line of cigarette packages was displayed and dispensed. Artists then finish off the blocks as their own creativity guides them doing anything from collage and photos to acrylic painting.
Artists name their series. Their artwork is also posted on the vending machine’s website for additional publicity – see below.
Onsite buyers purchase tokens from the host business to use in the machine. The artwork placed inside the machine is wrapped in vellum for protection as it drops into the slot once it has been selected.
There is no cost to the business owner to have this novelty for a month at their establishment. Artists receive a 50-50 payment split with Oddball Art Labs.
Artist submission form and other details are at Oddball Art Labs | Helping to keep the art scene strange in Elgin Illinois
Smaller art dispensing machine, onsite at a business in Elgin, IL.
Phil Seifritz, Artist
Jan Keller, ARTIST
Kimberly Stourton, ARTIST