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Art meets commerce on Queen West

It is small and a bit confusing at first glance, but for contemporaryCanadian artists it could become one of the most affordable and simpleways to gain exposure.

It is small and a bit confusing at first glance, but for contemporary Canadian artists it could become one of the most affordable and simple ways to gain exposure.

“There is a bit of hesitation about whether it is a functioning bank machine, because it is showing contemporary art,” said Kelly McCray, co-director of the Edward Day Gallery and creator of the Bank on Art project, www.bankonart.net.

The project is an ATM machine that features flashing images of art on the same screen used for transactions, before and after you take out cash and any time the machine is not in use.

It was launched Aug. 6 as part of an exhibition at the gallery entitled Foreign Legionnaires, Art Collectives At Work, including the FASTWÜRMS collective and Team Macho.

The machine, in front of the gallery at 952 Queen St. W., is fitted with a USB port and can showcase up to six images.

Right now it shows six artists a day, on a five second rotation, with the intent to slow it down to six artists a week. Interested artists can go to www.bankonart.net for submission guidelines.

McCray sees it as a bit of affordable exposure for an increasingly strapped art community.

“The arts need support, especially in this time. We are the first to lose out. It is a precarious situation right now.”

Today, McCray will meet with managers at the Gladstone Hotel to discuss setting up a second machine and has his sights set on locations in Yorkville.

He does not charge the artists, who are not paid but receive a profile on www.bankonart.net and can post links to their work.

It was a collaborative effort. The website was created by artist Walter Willems, through his company Simulated Flavour.

McCray said he intends to purchase the machine and expects it will cost between $5,000 to $6,000. He said fees from the machine will eventually generate about $200 a month, which will be used to maintain the website.

“I could see this working for music, for actors, I could see this working for literature, depending. It can go in a lot of directions.”

 
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