skip to navigation

Free shipping on jewelry orders over $75 with code: FREE

Artfully ElegantArtfully Elegant — Handmade Jewelry & Handcrafted Gifts

Toll Free: 855-278-3851

Have you seen the Art-o-mat at Artfully Elegant?

March 9th, 2016

If you’ve been in Artfully Elegant, you’ve probably seen the nifty vintage cigarette machine tucked neatly near our checkout desk. This delightful piece of mechanics is referred to as an Art-o-mat, and instead of cigarettes, it vends one-of-a-kind mini art! 

Click Here for the Art-o-mat at Artfully Elegant! 

The particular Art-o-mat at Artfully Elegant is one of over 120 unique Art-o-mats that can be found at locations all throughout the country.

10891831_10152596695337984_7613798951269155672_nThe original was created by artist Clark Whittington when a friend heard cellophane being crinkled and then had an uncontrollable urge for a snack. It was a Pavlovian response to hearing the candy wrapper being crinkled.

So in June of 1997, the first Art-o-mart was created using a recently banned cigarette machine. The piece, along with a number of full sized art from the artist, was displayed at a local cafe in Winston-Salem N.C., and contained small black and white photos mounted on blocks.


Although the piece was only to stay displayed for a few months, the owner of the cafe loved it so much, that she asked that it stay. Due to the length of stay, Whittington needed other artists to contribute to it’s contents. Local artists were asked to contribute to it’s tiny art, and the Art-o-mat that exists today, full of different artists and artistic styles, was born!

Each Art-o-mat is beautiful and distinctly different, however, the goal has always been the same. That ”art should be progressive, yet personal and approachable.“

So the next time you’re in downtown Bethlehem, stop in and check out the Art-o-mat! Not only is it a true re imagination of a vintage piece of history, but you can score some pretty amazing art too!

All photos courtesy of Art-o-mat’s Facebook Page