BURBANK, Calif. — Money goes in. Art pops out.
That’s the concept behind a vending machine conceived and curated by artist Stefanie Girard.
What You Need To Know
- The Art Candy Machine is located at the corner of Oak and Fairview in Burbank
- Each piece costs $5, and 100 percent of proceeds go to the artist
- Art comes in four sizes, from as small as a post-it note to as large as a postcard
- Stefanie Girard placed the machine in her driveway next to the popular neighborhood gallery she started on her fence
Girard calls herself an artist with a re-purpose, often using recycled or reclaimed materials as canvases for her creativity, like a stack of colorful floppy disks her accountant gave her. For Girard, being an eco-artist isn’t a trend — she completed Burbank’s Waste Warrior Program and incorporates what she learned into her art.
“It really opened my eyes to the waste problem we have in this country,” she said. “Anything I can do to use a recycled material, I’m going to choose that.”
Repurposing a candy machine fits that mission and works perfectly with Girard’s signature sense of whimsy. Inspired by Artomat’s recycled cigarette machines, she put out a call to local artists, inviting them to create dozens of mini-masterpieces to stock it. A few weeks later, the Art Candy Machine was ready to roll.
“And since my driveway gets lots of traffic, I figured it would be a safe place to pop it out there in this current time,” she said.
Girard's driveway isn’t so much the draw as her fence, which she has also turned into a neighborhood gallery. When the pandemic began, she wanted to do something to help her community cope and realized the answer was in her own front yard, at the corner of Oak and Fairview.
“I was like, ‘This is what I can do,’” she said. “I have a fence. Let’s make a gallery.”
She began hanging plastic pockets bearing the words "Your Art Here" and people responded, sliding their original works into a collection that now contains about 100 pieces. Some comes from the neighborhood kids and some comes from fellow artists like Helena Julin, whose work is also featured in the Art Candy Machine.
Julin is also an environmental artist who makes a point of including found objects, sometimes litter, in her work. When Girard first told her about the Art Candy Machine, Julin was instantly intrigued.
“Well, knowing Stefanie, I thought it was probably something really interesting,” she said.
Julin's contribution — paintings created in small mint tins — were a natural fit for a candy machine.
Each piece costs $5 and the artist gets 100 percent of the proceeds. It’s part of Girard's mission to get people to buy art from living artists. And while the earnings won’t pay a whole lot of bills, she hopes people will be inspired by their petite purchase to check out the artists’ social media pages and see what else they have to offer.
The pandemic hasn’t stopped artists from creating, but it has made showing and selling their work more challenging.
“All the galleries are closed, and so they can’t have their traditional shows,” Girard said. “A lot of them are teachers and that’s how they support themselves, and those are closed as well."
She hopes the Art Candy Machine inspires artists to keep creating, knowing there’s a corner of Burbank where their work can be seen. She also plans to keep one piece from each participating artist to be included in a group show when it’s safe to do so.
“Creating art is imperative and it really gives a person a sense of empowerment and control when so many things we don’t control,” she said. “Just by making something, you can have a certain sense of satisfaction and completion and accomplishment.”
To have your artwork considered for the Art Candy Machine, click here.