Photo submitted – SUNY Potsdam is encouraging local artists to submit proposals to create works to stock Art-O-Mat machines both on campus and across the country.

POTSDAM, NY – As a campus that prides itself on a culture of creativity, SUNY Potsdam just added a new amenity to help students, faculty and community members alike get a quick art fix to brighten their days — Northern New York’s first Art-O-Mat machine.

A lovingly restored vintage cigarette machine with a mirrored surface has been retrofitted to dispense quirky artworks made by artists from across the country. The Art-O-Mat offers customers handheld artworks, such as tiny art prints, handcrafted jewelry, miniature sculptures, small origami mobiles or haiku poetry — all for $5 a pop.

SUNY Potsdam’s new Art-O-Mat machine — one of 100 across the country — is located near a bank of vending machines in Carson Hall, just off the College’s Academic Quad. The goal was to make supporting art as easy as picking up a bottle of soda, said Kathryn Deuel, who oversees the Lougheed-Kofoed Festival of the Arts, which funded the Art-O-Mat project.

“It’s eclectic, it’s fun and it’s unexpected — like the LoKo Festival itself,” Deuel said.

Two faculty members proposed installing the machine through the LoKo Festival last year, and have helped to coordinate the project. They include Dr. Rick Henry, a professor in the Department of English and Communication, and April Vasher-Dean, director of The Art Museum at SUNY Potsdam.

“We just installed the machine last week, and we already need to restock. Art is flying off the shelves! It’s just goes to show how much people love affordable, original art,” Vasher-Dean said.

SUNY Potsdam organizers are encouraging local artists to get in on the fun by submitting proposals to create their own artworks to stock Art-O-Mat machines across the country. In addition, they plan to work with the SUNY Potsdam Student Art Association to produce works by students for use in the campus machine.

All proceeds from SUNY Potsdam’s Art-O-Mat machine will go toward the LoKo Festival of the Arts.

The North Country’s most comprehensive arts festival, the LoKo Festival includes a wide array of events, including author readings, theatre productions, multimedia presentations, art openings, special exhibitions, public lectures, masterclasses and concerts. Kathryn (Kofoed) Lougheed ’54 and Donald Lougheed, Hon. ’54, founded the festival in 2012.

This year’s LoKo Festival will be held from April 27 to May 6. All events are free and open to the public. To keep up to speed with all this year’s LoKo events, visit www.potsdam.edu/loko.

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of only three arts campuses in the entire SUNY system. SUNY Potsdam’s arts curriculum offers the full palette: music, theatre, dance, fine arts and creative writing. No matter the discipline, people from all backgrounds can find their creative compass at Potsdam, with myriad arts immersion experiences available for both campus and community. To learn more, visit www.potsdam.edu/about/artscampus.