04
May-2015

At $10 a pop, you can be an arts patron

Customers get a special token (Icelandic coins, incidentally) to insert into the vending machine. They pick an artist, pull a lever, and out pops a white box with a work of art inside.

Two years ago, artists and El El Frijoles taqueria proprietors Michele Levesque and Michael Rossney purchase an old vending machine — the low-slung kind that once carried Marlboro Reds and Beemans gum — from a seller in southern Maine who’d advertised in Uncle Henry’s.

With a green paint job and some tinkered machinery, the dispensary now sits in Fairwinds Florist on Main Street in Blue Hill.

For $10, you get a special token (Icelandic coins, incidentally) to insert. Pick an artist, pull a lever, out comes a white box with a work of art inside.

ArtBox CE (8)The “ArtBox” carries works by 10 artists, each of whom displays a sample piece. Every work is unique, so choices are made blindly. With four additional artists on the ArtBox roster, the lineup rotates.

For Levesque, the decision to place ArtBox in the centrally located flower shop, which also includes Black Dinah Chocolatiers, was easy.

“Flowers, art and chocolate,” she said. “You just a need a bottle of wine and you’re good to go.”

Charles Eichacker covers the towns of Bucksport, Orland, Castine, Verona Island, Penobscot, Brooksville and Dedham. When not working on stories, he likes books, beer and the outdoors. c[email protected]