There's a restaurant in the city that I've been to twice and each time, on the way out, something interesting catches my eye. It's an cool, retro-looking machine that looks strangely like a vintage cigarette dispenser. The thing that draws me in every time is the word "Art-o-mat" across the top. Art? Turns out this is not a cigarette vending machine at all but an art vending machine!
According to the Artomat website, in 1977, artist Clark Whittington was inspired to use recycled cigarette machines for dispensing art. Whittington originally sold his black and white photographs from an Artomat machine for $1.00 each. The goal of Artomat's sponsoring group, Artists in Cellophane (A.I.C.) is to make art accessible to the everyday consumer through Artomat machines. There are about 76 machines in various places around the country. Find one and get a bit of original art for yourself!
This is the image that graces the front of our Christmas cards this year. I couldn't be more proud as it was drawn by our 15 year old son! The size of the original drawing, which now hangs in our living room, is about 17" x 22". Yes...he's incredibly talented!
This is the year I finally obtained the ever-elusive tinsel tree! I'm overjoyed at the tacky splendor of my lovely 4 foot display of retro kitsch sparkling in the corner. Not everyone in my household feels the way I do, however. Comments from the three males I live with include: "That's the ugliest thing I've ever seen!" "Well, if it makes you happy." and "What's that thing and when are we getting rid of it?" Let me tell you, it's here to stay. I just might leave it up all year, I'm so in love with the genius of it's design and the glittering glory of it! Truly, I don't understand why the powers that be aren't still making these things. My gorgeous tree went up in about 5 minutes...no lights that won't work...no watering...no messy needles...and, it looks great both day and night. Genius! The very best part is that it is makes the perfect display for my collection of my grandmothers vintage ornaments. Now....to obtain the ever-elusive color wheel!
More Christmas altering... I've been calling these small, altered cards "cabinet cards" but they're actually Cartes de Visite cards (visiting cards or calling cards). CDVs were made in the mid 1800's before cabinet cards came into style. They are small in size, usually about 2 1/2" x 4". The fact that they were easily mailed made these little cards very popular. They're still fairly easy to find and, once a wire hanger and beads are attached, they are the perfect size for Christmas ornaments! For more interesting info on CDVs visit City Gallery.
These beautiful Christmas ornaments are from an exchange I participated in with a group of art friends. I did small, altered cabinet cards (posted previously) for them and these are some of the incredible pieces I got in exchange!
by Cece Grimes
This ornament by Cece can also be worn as a pin. Isn't she charming?
All works of art, jewelry and photographs within this website are protected under U.S. copyright laws and international conventions. No portion of the artists' works or statements may be duplicated, downloaded, reproduced or altered in any way without prior permission. Classes and class material, online or otherwise, my not be reproduced or taught in any venue, in whole or in part.