Friday, December 23, 2011

Collecting art on the cheap

If you like the idea of owning original art but think you can't afford it, a solution awaits you in Seattle. Venue in the Ballard district is home to an Art-o-Mat, a former cigarette machine that now dispenses original art for a mere $5.

There are more than 90 Art-o-Mats in the U.S. -- from Key West, Florida to Las Vegas, Nevada -- with art from more than 400 artists hailing from 10 different countries. So even if you don't live in Seattle, maybe there's an Art-o-Mat near you! Among the goodies in the Venue machine are postage stamp earrings by Brandi Crye from Eugene, Oregon; mini paintings by Jodi Reeb-Myers of Minneapolis; miniature designer paper bags by Cynthia Larkin of Thomaston, Connecticut; and fused glass bobby pins from Gerry Klein of Omaha, Nebraska. Oscar decided to buy the origami from a San Diego artist named Casey, and was happy with his beautifully packaged purchase. I love the idea of supporting artists -- and of reusing these retro cigarette machines. Buying art this inexpensive is a healthy habit!

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