SUNY Potsdam installs 'Art-O-Mat' machine that dispenses artworks, poetry
Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 2:48 pm

Stephanie Coyne DeGhett, a professor in the Department of English and Communication, purchases art from SUNY Potsdam's new Art-O-Mat vending machine. SUNY Potsdam is encouraging local artists to submit proposals to create works to stock Art-O-Mat machines both on campus and across the country.

POTSDAM -- SUNY Potsdam just added a new amenity school officials say will “help students, faculty and community members alike get a quick art fix to brighten their days” -- northern New York's first Art-O-Mat machine.

A restored vintage cigarette machine with a mirrored surface has been retrofitted to dispense artworks made by artists from across the country.

The Art-O-Mat offers customers handheld artworks, such as tiny art prints, handcrafted jewelry, miniature sculptures, small origami mobiles or haiku poetry -- for $5 each.

The machine -- one of 100 across the country -- is near a bank of vending machines in Carson Hall, just off the Academic Quad.

“The goal was to make supporting art as easy as picking up a bottle of soda,” Kathryn Deuel, who oversees the Lougheed-Kofoed Festival of the Arts, which funded the Art-O-Mat project, said in a news release. "It's eclectic, it's fun and it's unexpected -- like the LoKo Festival itself.”

Two faculty members proposed installing the machine through the LoKo Festival last year, and have helped to coordinate the project. They include Rick Henry, a professor in the Department of English and Communication, and April Vasher-Dean, director of The Art Museum at SUNY Potsdam.

"We just installed the machine last week, and we already need to restock. Art is flying off the shelves! It's just goes to show how much people love affordable, original art," Vasher-Dean said in the release.

SUNY Potsdam organizers are encouraging local artists to submit proposals to create their own artworks to stock Art-O-Mat machines across the country. In addition, they plan to work with the SUNY Potsdam Student Art Association to produce works by students for use in the campus machine.

All proceeds from SUNY Potsdam's Art-O-Mat machine will go toward the LoKo Festival of the Arts.

The LoKo Festival includes events, author readings, theatre productions, multimedia presentations, art openings, special exhibitions, public lectures, masterclasses and concerts. Kathryn (Kofoed) Lougheed and Donald Lougheed founded the festival in 2012.

This year's LoKo Festival will be held from April 27 to May 6. All events are free and open to the public. To keep up to speed with this year's LoKo events, visit www.potsdam.edu/loko.