Vancouverites have a convenient new way to buy unique art pieces from a host of different local creators.
In partnership with Downtown Van (formerly DVBIA) and the Bentall Centre, Vancouver Vending Co. has introduced the first art vending machine in the city.
Located in the Garden Court of Bentall Centre (Tower 4 food court at 1055 Dunsmuir St), the machine is now up and running for anyone who wants to stop by and bring something home.
Customers can choose from a selection of prints, pins, stickers, zines, and more from local artists in Vancouver.
Founder Crystal Lau came up with the idea for the not-for-profit project when she saw local artists experience revenue losses at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vancouver Vending Co. was created as an easy way for creators to display their art outside of art markets, galleries, and retail spaces, which can often present challenging obstacles to budding artists.
"The vending machine format acts as an accessible and affordable entry point for the general public to engage in the arts, especially for those who find traditional art and gallery spaces intimidating," explains the company.
The project also elevates BIPOC/LGBTQ2S+ communities, prioritizing artists with marginalized identities and giving back to grassroots arts organizations.
The vending machine is always stocked with about 10 to 15 artists' work, with items ranging in price from $1 to $60.
The outside of the machine is beautiful, too. Local artist Paige Jung designed its vibrant exterior wrap.
Artists featured within the vending machine include:
- David Camisa (he/him): @davidcamisa
- Lottie Liu: @lottiKore
- Emily Whiting (she/they ): @elmshoots
- Wendi Ma: @babincho
- Jessamine Liu (she/her): @shyegg_
- Dawn Lo (she/her): @dawndawndawnillustration
- Cal Stiles (they/them): @local.dweebb
- Paige Jung (she/her): @paigejung_
- Rach Lau (they/them): @racholauart
- Rowan Wright (he/they) @keeponcreative
- Anita Cheung (she/her): @hi.neets
- Dani Your Darling (they/xe/xem): @daniyourdarling
- Cathleen Chow (she/her): @cathuhhleen
- Sarah Ellis Clark (she/her): @sarahellisclark
- Queer Reads Library: @queer_reads_library
- Moniker Press (Erica, she/her): @monikerpress