Who doesn’t love little art? I sure do. The Art Studios at Mission Mill recently had the opportunity to host Mary Lou Zeek’s wonderful refurbished cigarette machine, which she transformed into a vending machine of small art blocks (the size of a pack of cigarettes). The machine, ART BLOX: Small Art for Everyone, used to be in Mary Lou’s wonderful downtown gallery space, but since the gallery closed, the machine makes appearances only on special occasions or by invitation. We invited and the machine was delivered last Thursday.

Alan Zeek delivers the ART BLOX machine.

Mary Lou showed me the quirks of the vintage machine.

Mary Lou and Dayna with the ART BLOX machine outside the studio of Max Marbles.

Last Thursday night was our quarterly Art After Dark and Open Studios. The upstairs studios were open, refreshments were served, and art was displayed throughout the space. But downstairs was the ART BLOX machine, which was hoppin’ throughout the evening, where we sold the small blocks of art for $10 each.

Dayna Collins sold ART BLOX tokens throughout the evening.


Lois Stark waves her hands at the machine in the hopes of getting the perfect block.


Roger Hull randomly pulled a lever and the machine dispensed an original piece of art by Bonnie Hull.


A happy guest received a Bonnie Hull original.


Choosing a lever to pull.


A happy guest.


This little girl hugged the machine because she said she “loves it.”


An original art block created by Nancy Eng.


Katy Vigland who created blocks for the machine, stops by to purchase blocks.


One of our younger art lovers.


James O’Shea photographs the process of purchasing an ART BLOX.


Cheryl Creel goes in for a second block.


Dennis Creel gets into the ART BLOX stance.


So many levers to choose from.


A sampling of the blocks we received:

Blocks by Mona Cook.


Blocks by Katy Vigland.


Blocks by Nancy Eng.


Blocks by Elizabeth Bauman.


Blocks by Tory Brokenshire.


Blocks by Susan Napack.


Blocks by Dayna Collins.

A big thank you to Mary Lou and Alan Zeek for the use of the machine and for the many artists who created and contributed blocks. The proceeds from the sale of the blocks, almonst $800 worth, will be going to an artist relief fund in Salem.

Lots and lots of blocks!


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