Medical Center's Art Vending Machine to Benefit Brenner Children's Hospital

October 25, 2000

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has installed an Art-O-Mat, art vending machine as a fundraiser for Brenner Children''s Hospital and Health Services.

The Art-O-Mat is a refurbished cigarette vending machine filled with 2 by 3 inch paintings created by Medical Center employees and local artists. Each painting is sold for $3, a portion of which is donated to Brenner Children''s Hospital to purchase art supplies.

The Medical Center''s Visual and Performing Arts Committee commissioned the Art-O-Mat. Committee chairman, Steven C. Snelgrove, vice president for operations, said the committee felt that the device would be a creative way to promote the work of employee artists and offer affordable works of art while supporting a good cause.

"The Art-O-Mat paintings are perfect for visitors to purchase as get-well gifts for patients and for employees to purchase for their work space because they don''t take up much room," Snelgrove said. "The committee saw it as a fun way to display the creative talent of our employees and purchase art supplies for Brenner patients."

Artist Alex Norwood, a Wake Forest University School of Medicine employee, brought the idea of commissioning a Medical Center Art-O-Mat to the Visual and Performing Arts Committee.

"It''s good for folks to know that each Art-O-Mat machine is an individual sculpture with its own personality or theme," said Norwood. "For the Medical Center, Art-O-Mat creator, artist Clark Whittington and I developed a couple of ideas related to radiology and then surgery before coming up with a delightful, retro concept that will attract the kid in everyone."

Whittington, who created the Art-O-Mat vending machine concept in Winston-Salem, will be available to greet visitors and answer questions at a Nov. 10 reception to unveil the machine. The event will be held at the Main Lobby of the North Tower from 4 until 7 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. The public is invited to attend.

Folk-rock-alternative musical group the Skellingtons will provide entertainment. A slide show telling the Art-O-Mat story will run continuously throughout the reception. To add to the festive atmosphere, employees will don colorful hospital scrub uniforms adorned with the Art-O-Mat and Medical Center logos.

Art-O-Mats are on exhibit and in permanent collections at major modern art galleries around the nation including The Whitney Museum of American Art, N.Y. Diverseworks! Art Space, Houston, Tex., and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem.


Contact: Jim Steele or Mark Wright, (336) 716-4587.

Media Relations