Altered Aesthetics is a non-profit community-based art gallery and arts advocacy organization located in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. We believe artists represent a voice of society and our mission is to support and expand a vibrant arts community.
Over the past six years, we have stayed true to our mission by hosting over 50 compelling group exhibitions, showing the work of over 1,000 local and international artists. In 2009, we drew over 2,000 people into the arts district to attend 14 engaging exhibits. We were also an active part of Art-A-Whirl, which helped to draw over 20,000 people into the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. (source)
An art vending machine seems like a great way for such an organization to extend it’s outreach. It’s both an art gallery and arts advocate that works 24/7. It works in a format that is inviting, approachable and interactive and can reach people who might never give art a second thought.
This article from The Daily Planet (I know, right?) describes the project in much greater depth than Altered Aesthetics does, and concludes:
…It happened on my turn too, but I patiently re-fed quarters into the beast, yanked on the pearl handle and received my numbered piece by St. Paul’s Jeffery F. Morrison. After showing it off to all my friends, I went home and put it in a place of honor. It’s honestly the only original art I own.
That, to me, is what it’s all about. Getting people to interact with art in ways they never have before. Jennifer Thomsen, the article’s author, now has a piece of original artwork in her home that she’ll see every day. Maybe it will inspire her to buy more art, or maybe to create some of her own!