Thursday, December 31, 2009

Art that goes kerplunk

Friends and I had heard about the installation of an Artomat machine at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland recently. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, it's basically an old cigarette vending machine that has been converted to vend small, inexpensive ($5) pieces of art instead of smokes. This is something that has been doing all over the country since 1997. You can learn more by clicking the link above or this one right here). The stars finally aligned and we were able to go see it for ourselves this week. Now, we've gone on expeditions like this before, and sometimes things don't go as planned. However, under the guidance of our very accommodating (and patient) host, Melissa, we were able to not only utilize the Artomat without incident but also toured the entire museum, which currently features the incredible surreal photography of Jerry Uelsmann. So here are some photos from our visit...

Here's the machine, a work of art in itself!

This is one of the pieces we got, "Stanton the Frogboy" by Julie Armbruster from "Beasts! Series 3". (this is number 46 of 50)

This is "RED~ A miniature book" by Debbie Shannon.

This is "Cracker" by Herbert Hoover (no, not that one, this one: It's a pewter saltine cracker and this one is number 3451. This was my favorite because I like art (and food) that can be played with. What makes this so mush fun is there's a web site ( where people have posted photos and stories of their crackers and their adventures. Stay tuned, I have a feeling ol' 3451 here will be making appearances there in the near future.

This is a high fire porcelain clay necklace by Marilyn Kirk.

This is a piece by Erin Colligan Lee ( All of her Artomat pieces feature peanuts.

This is "A View Through a Tiny Aperture ~A handmade book of pinhole photos, Volume #4" by Chuck Flagg

Remember kids, cigarettes are very, very bad for you but art is very, very good for you.
(Mucho Gracias to K who took all these photos)


Ultimate internet store said...

Oh very professionl blog this is.

I have some collections of photos of different art.I want to invite you to visit the site.

So please see that paintings whom i got in my last vacation fro Peris.

Thank you

Oneperson said...

Yay Polk and yay Melissa!!!

Glad you enjoyed it Clark.

Don't try to eat that cracker now!

Artomatcarol (Twitter)

Erin said...

Hey! So glad you found my peanut art! Hope you like it!

Anonymous said...

I was just doing a search to pass time and I was so glad I did. Thanks Clark for putting a photo of my pinhole book on your blog! I enjoy the blog and plan on coming back. Art-O-Mat is great fun and I hope to have my website back up soon since my provider wiped out all my pages in a server switch over Jan. 12th '10,
Thanks again! Nick would have loved it!
Take Care,
Chuck Flagg