Saturday, February 7, 2009

Art-O-mat - How Cool is That?

What exactly is an Art-o-mat?

They are old cigarette vending machines that have been converted into mini-art vending machines. How cool! This was introduced in 1997 in North Carolina by an artist named Clark Whittington. Now everyone can afford a piece of art, as the price is only $5. I had my first experience with Art-O-mat about five years ago. My mom and I went to a Lyle Lovett concert at the Ky Center for the Arts. We found the unique machine and my mom treated me. I got a little handmade book, that I still have to this day. Included was the artist's name and email address. I had not thought much about it since then as I don't get to the Center for the Arts very often. However, in the January 2009 issue of Southern Living, I was thrilled to see that Art-O-Mat lives on!

There are 82 of these across the country and you can find a location near you by going to their website. There are two locations in Kentucky and Ohio and several in IN and IL. There's even a machine in Canada and Austria.

If you are creative and your art can be sized into a small box (like a cigarette package) you may want to consider sending them a sample to see if you are selected as one of their participating artists. Artists receive 50% of the sale price (or $2.50)for each item sold. Obviously it's not about the money, it's the fun of creating art and sharing it with people across the U.S. All of the details can be found on their website.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

Here are some images from our ice/snow storm last week. There were about 200,000 people without power in Louisville and over 800,000 across the state of Kentucky. Our power went off Tuesday night and didn't return until late Saturday night. It was 47 degrees in our house! I learned a lot from the experience as my husband was in Detroit the first 2 days of not having power. I learned how to light our gas fireplace (which we had not used in years) and hook up and start a generator. We traded off amenities with our neighbors. They had a gas stove and made us grilled cheese sandwiches and soup and we had hot water so they could take a hot shower.
The governor is saying it's the worst natural disaster to ever hit the State of Kentucky. Second worst was the wind storm from Hurricane Ike last September. We also lost power then for about a week. That's when we were fortunate enough to get a generator. But back in September it wasn't as cold, which made this outage a lot worse. Hotels were booked and most people had to stick it out at their home. Several people died from carbon monoxide poisoning from generators running in their garage or using gas stoves or grills inside their house to keep warm. Very sad.

These pictures were taken around our back yard. The damage was everywhere across Louisville from downed wires and tree limbs, and often much worse than what I found in our yard. But then again, I tried to mostly take pictures of things that were artistic and pretty.