Art-O-Mat is the brainchild of the North Carolina artist Clark Whittington. In 1997, as part of an exhibit of his artwork, he transformed an old cigarette machine into a dispenser of small pieces of artwork.
After the show was over, Mary's of course Cafe which had hosted it, requested that he leave the machine. He did, and that began his long-term project of acquiring old cigarette machines, converting them into Art-O-Mats and finding homes for them.
He's also developed a group of artists called Artists in Cellaphane who create the cigarette packed sized pieces of artwork for the machines.
Each piece of artwork costs $5, with a dollar going to Whittington , $2 - $2.50 going to the artists and the rest going to the hosting venue or a charity.
At the Art-O-Mat website you can see a list of the machines with pictures of each and their locations, as well as see samples of the artists' work dispensed by them.