American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Executive Director Ellen Richard announced today that The Costume Shop theater, A.C.T.'s 49-seat black-box venue located in San Francisco's Central Market corridor, will be home to a custom-designed Art-o-mat vending machine. Made from revamped vintage cigarette machines, the Art-o-mat machine dispenses small, cigarette pack-sized original pieces of artwork. Ranging from staiNed Glass to watercolors to clay sculptures, the original artwork can be purchased from the machine for $5 per item. An official public unveiling, curated by Art-o-mat creator Clark Whittington, will take place at A.C.T.'s Costume Shop theater (1117 Market Street) on Monday, April 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Whittington, a Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based artist, created Art-o-mat in 1997 as a way to sell photos at his art show in a local café. After the success of the installation, Whittington recruited other local artists in the area to join the project and formed Artists in Cellophane with the intent to easily distribute affordable art to the general public. Since then, the project has grown to include works from more than 400 artists from around the world in more than 100 colorfully custom-designed machines placed throughout the United States, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
"San Francisco is the perfect city for Art-o-mat," said Whittington. "I couldn't be more excited to have A.C.T. on board as a host. Art-o-mat believes that art should be progressive, yet personal and approachable-a mission shared by A.C.T."
A.C.T.'s Art-o-mat machine will feature original artwork from 22 artists from around the nation. These artists are:
? Robin Anderson ? David Franke
? Woodie Anderson ? Kathy Franke
? Kim Ayers ? Marlene Healy
? Scott Blake ? Heart House
? Pam Brekas ? Mary Ann Huster
? Mark Bullwinkle ? KLOP
? Loyce Carey ? Matt Larson
? Bob Cook ? Lemon Tree
? Michelle Cordova ? Trish Randall
? BRyan Cunningham ? Chris Toutin
? Terry Ernsberger ? Chris Vasquez
San Francisco Bay Area artists are invited to submit their artwork for consideration in A.C.T.'s machine, as well as in machines across the country. Artist submissions are accepted on an open, ongoing basis. For submission information, visit www.artomat.org/guidelines. Whittington will give a short presentation to local artists on Monday, April 8 outlining the guidelines for submission.
Says Richard: "A.C.T. is excited for the opportunity to feature Bay Area artists in our Art-o-mat machine and we encourage artists to submit their artwork for consideration. Through Art-o-mat, we hope to promote art in our community by supporting local artists, while providing affordable art to everyone."
As a component of A.C.T.'s expanded community-engagement initiatives and audience-building efforts, A.C.T. opened The Costume Shop theater at 1117 Market Street near San Francisco's Civic Center in a storefront within A.C.T.'s actual costume shop, a space the company has leased for 13 years. The black-box theater provides A.C.T. with a stronger presence in the neighborhood, as well as a flexible stage perfect for producing a rich and eclectic variety of artistic work, from innovative A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Program productions, to exhilarating work by local artists and performing arts companies. In addition to furthering A.C.T.'s own artistic initiatives, The Costume Shop also fulfills A.C.T.'s broader commitment to promote and reinvigorate the thriving arts landscape in San Francisco by providing no-cost rehearsal and performance space to local arts organizations. The installation of the Art-o-mat machine at The Costume Shop allows A.C.T. to support local visual artists by providing a canvas in the rapidly developing and artistically vibrant Mid-Market neighborhood.