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The Art-o-Mat Vends Art for the Masses

Former Whitney Museum and New Museum of Contemporary Art machine, now retired.

Original art has never been more accessible. In early April, the American Conservatory Theatre will unveil its newest addition—the Art-o-mat®. This refashioned, retro cigarette machine doles out artwork the size of a cigarette pack for $5 a piece. First created by North Carolina artist Clark Whittington, the vending machine will feature artwork from almost two dozen artists across the country. For over 15 years, Art-o-mats® have been installed coast-to-coast, giving enthusiasts everywhere an affordable alternative to purchase pocket-sized, one-of-a-kind pieces like clay sculptures, stained glass, and watercolors.

A.C.T.'s Art-o-mat® offers work by artists including Sacramento native Michelle Cordova, abstract acrylic artist Pam Brekas, and pop artist Scott Blake. It's also a chance for Bay Area artists to spread their work—rolling submissions will be accepted via these guidelines.

But before you make a dash to 415 Geary, listen up. The custom-designed dispenser will make its home at The Costume Shop theater (A.C.T.'s 49-seat, black-box venue at 1117 Market St.) starting April 8, when Whittington will also be on hand to answer questions about submissions.

The public unveiling will take place from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. on Mon. 4/8 at A.C.T.’s Costume Shop theater, 1117 Market St.