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Arts & Culture
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Cleveland Artist Brings Art From Cigarette Machines to Sandusky

photo of cigarette machine
MATT KOKOSKI
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An art exhibit in Sandusky is inviting visitors to consume art in a new way. This weekend, the Sandusky Cultural Center is hosting artist R!ch Cihlar’s “Cleveland Artifact Machine." It’s a mid-century cigarette machine that dispenses artwork instead of smokes.

Cihlar says the machines are a throwback because they require no electricity; everything is mechanical. And they’re also helping visitors interact with and appreciate art in a new way.

“We have 22 artists in that machine. And so, ultimately, you can start a great collection for very little. A lot of these artists aren’t new artists: they’ve been around the block for decades. And they wanted to participate in a show that’s different.”

Cihlar has had a similar machine at his E11ven 2 gallery for about a year, and he says the response has been very positive.

cihlar2.mp3
Cihlar on how the machines work

“They pop their money in and you hear that noise -- that 'ka-CHUNK' -- and people are interacting. It’s almost like getting a pack of baseball cards. You know there’s something in that package and you’re trying to collect certain things. And people gather around; they want to know what you got.”

Each piece of art costs $10. The Cleveland Artifact Machine will be on display in Sandusky from this Sunday until May 15.

Artists in the machine are: Ken Arthur, Marsha Gray Carrington, Justin Delli Bovi, Eileen Dorsey, Matthew Gallagher, Mark Hagstrom, Josh Haplea, Jeff Hulligan, Nick Humez, Nina Vivian Huryn, George Kocar, Matt Kokoski, Patricia Krebs, Charles T. Mayer, Billy Nainiger, James Ward Peake and Anastasia Linger, Christina M. Sadowski, Lisa Schonberg, Andrew Shannon, Denise E. Stewart and Mark Yasenchack.