Art to go: Vancouver’s first art vending machine aims to boost local artists
An unorthodox vending machine in downtown Vancouver is dispensing more than soda, candy bars and chips.
Instead, people can get their art fix — to go and contactless — at Vancouver’s first art vending machine, located at the Bentall Centre in the heart of the city’s financial district.
It’s the brainchild of Crystal Lau, founder of non-profit Vancouver Vending Co. She got the idea to stock art in a vending machine last year during the height of the pandemic, when many artists found themselves bereft of the usual outlets to display and sell their work.
Many cities around the world already have art-vending machines, said Lau, who works full-time in community engagement at the University of B.C.
Even with COVID-19 restrictions lifting, Lau said the machines still serve a purpose: “A big part of this project is to make art more accessible for people.”