Dordt College News

Original artwork, at the push of a button

May 2, 2014

The Dordt College art department has developed a unique tool by which students can display art work that the community can purchase with the push of a button: the Dordt Art Vend.

Inspired by an art vending machine he saw in Ames, Iowa, Dordt College Art Professor Matt Drissell developed the Dordt Art Vend from a vending machine once housed in the Dutch Colony Inn in Orange City. Art Vend benefits students as they create and sell their art, and it benefits community members interested in owning a piece of original artwork made in their community.

“This project promotes the art department’s and the college’s mission by encouraging students to use their God given abilities to creatively engage culture,” says Drissell. “God has blessed us all with the ability to create, has instilled in us an aesthetic drive, and expects us to serve him through all of our efforts. Dordt Art Vend provides an avenue for students to create and serve creatively.”

Art Vend also helps students learn about the business side of being an artist. Drissell says that for a student to contribute, “they have to consider the subject matter, audience demand, the physical limitations of the machine, marketing their work, their time commitment, and many more real world factors.”

Currently the vending machine holds small paintings, prints, knitted stuffed creatures and coffee sleeves, ceramic bowls, and the Dordt Canon. The machine accepts $1, $10, and $20 bills, and is located in the lobby of the Art Department in the Ribbens Academic Complex. Drissell would like to move Art Vend into town during the summer to encourage more community interaction.

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