BEST PLACE TO BUY ART FROM A VENDING MACHINE - 2008
For those of you who prefer that your experience of purchasing art be unique like the art itself, the ultra-stylish Chambers Hotel in Minneapolis is worth checking out. Breathtaking works of art are displayed on the lobby walls, but the most eye-catching object may be the old cigarette machine just outside the hotel's small but exclusive gift shop. The art available from this vending machine, or Art-O-Mat, according to its chrome label, ranges from small, palm-sized screen prints to paper puppets, all for only $5 apiece. The machine is easy to use—the difficulty comes in choosing which piece of art to buy. The Chambers gift shop features art by local artists, but the vending machine includes pieces by artists nationwide. When you finally narrow down which artist you'd like to purchase from, you must buy a $5 token from the front desk. Art-O-Mat doesn't take bills; it may be the only place in the Chambers Hotel that refuses paper money.