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Visions of Affordable Artwork by Guest Bloggest, Truc Truong

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

American history has been filled with many surprising turns, and art is no exception. Every piece of artwork created has reflected an era, a cause, a spark, or a vision.

One of those visions was created in 1997 by a gentleman named Clark Whittington. His vision led him to re-fabricate an old-time cigarette vending machine into an art dispensing machine. His vision for society was that original art would be more beneficial and that art needed to be affordable to all. In fact, when his vision was realized, each Art-O-Mat dispenses and sells original art for $5. Over 400 artists from 10 countries actively participate in the Art-O-Mat project, offering original oil paintings, watercolor paintings, jewelry, block prints, sculptures, collages, puppets, pottery, and many mixed-media creations. All of the artwork is relatively small and easily comparable to the size of a pack of cigarettes. Each individual, original art piece is wrapped in acetate and is aptly named, Artists-In-Cellophane.

Many art collectors find Art-o-mats to be a unique part of history solely because it is one of the only trends in affordable art. Clark Whittington had an incredibly diverse thinking process which is what made these revived and renovated cigarette machines successful. When given a chance to empty any loose change for a variety of unique artworks, who can possibly resist!

The superb vintage Art-o-mat located in the northern part of the State of Texas is situated inside the Heard-Craig Center for the Arts Carriage House. Set aside some time to come and use the Art-O-Mat machine on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 9:00 – 3:00 PM or on Saturdays from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. The Heard-Craig Center is always open to new visitors that want to see the Art-O-Mat. In fact, many people who stop to see it are Art-O-Mat enthusiasts who roam the United States looking for the next best machine! Come by, pull the handle, and dispense your next great art piece from the Heard-Craig Center in downtown McKinney, Texas.

Don't Go Round Artless!

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