Happy 20th Anniversary, Art-o-mat!

I am so proud to a small part of the artist and maker community that is Art-o-mat and Artists in Cellophane (AIC).  

It doesn't seem fair to those of you who cannot make it to the 20th Anniversary Retrospective in Winston-Salem that you cannot admire the outstanding work there.  That's why I'm sharing my photos from last Thursday's Opening Reception.

Clark Whittington, Founder of Art-o-mat and AIC, along with outstanding Art-o-mat Studio Geniuses.  They make this happen!

Clark (right) and his college roommate enjoyed the fun, festive evening.

The exhibit at SouthEast Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) is on display through August 27, 2017.  Try not to miss these spectacular gems on display behind plexiglass.  

Can you see the gorgeous eggplant sculpture that says, "The lovers, the dreams, & me"?  This line comes from "The Rainbow Connection" as sung by Kermit the Frog.  A lifelong Muppets fan, I had the tune in my head while viewing the entire exhibit. 

The look and feel of Art-o-mat

A retro look reminiscent of mid-century modern defines the Art-o-mat brand.

I wish I could show you all the tiny sculptures, paper houses, and variety of amazing ideas that individual artists have created.

Remember that each work of art must fit into a box or be the size of a pack of cigarettes.

A closer look

What modern art influences do you see here?  The themes of Piet Mondrian and Picasso jump out at you.  I know several of these blocks were painted by one of my favorite working artists, Dennis Wells.

Many refurbished cigarette machines are on display.

Clark created the original idea of dispensing small, affordable pieces of art from upcycled machines that formerly vended cigarettes.

Over 61,000 works of art sold in over 130 machines around the world in 2016 alone.  Want to see more details?  Check out this article from the Winston Salem Journal.

Portraiture & character series

AIC artist Dean Konop created the "Something Fishy" President Fish series in 2009. Titles include George H2O BASSh, Bill ClinTUNA, George W(ater) BASSh and Barack ObaMARLIN.

You will recognize the characters from popular TV shows on some of the blocks.  An actor from "Breaking Bad" approached AIC artist Chad Beroth to allow the actor to buy his specific Skinny Pete character painting.

You can easily see that artists spend many painstaking hours making sure each work of art reaches its full potential.

What to see and do

Some machines were on display to honor the hosts, the look, and the history of Art-o-mat.

And some of the machines at the exhibit actually vend art.  You can purchase a $5 token and come away with your own small work of art. 

Clarice's Boogerbrains are on sale at the show.  I enjoyed explaining to the Roller Derby team in attendance that Boogerbrains were tiny, silly creatures that are born when bubbles burst (according to my daughter, their creator).

I loved the penguins and birds.


The details...

blow you...


Swap Meet Coming Up

I encourage you to go see the show before it closes.  If you want to meet real, live contributing artists, then visit SECCA for the next big Art-o-mat event:  the Swap Meet.

Clarice and I will create new work at the Swap Meet on Sunday, June 5, from 1 - 5 pm. Come for the art, stay for the food trucks and live music

See you there!


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