Just a block away from the Verdugo Aquatic center, lies a quiet Burbank neighborhood. Here at the corner of Oak and Fairview, lives Stefanie Girard, who brings art to the community through her “Art Candy Machine.”
Over two years ago, during the height of the pandemic, Girard recycled a small vending machine and created the “Art Candy Machine,” in an effort to give artists a safe place to feature their work. The machine sits in her driveway tucked under the shade of a nearby tree with a hanging sign that says “Yes, We’re Open.”
Since it’s opening the Art Candy Machine has featured the work of 58 artists and sold over 1600 pieces of original art. Up to 20 unique pieces of art are featured at any given time and can include mediums like acrylic, watercolor, marker, colored pencil, block printing, and even different forms of mixed-media like collage, soap, glass, jewelry, clay, figures and more. “You never know what will be featured as the art is always changing depending on stock,” said Girard. “The art in the Art Candy Machine is as diverse as the artists that create it.”
Anyone can come up and purchase a piece of art from the machine. All art is $5 and the machine takes $1 and $5 bills. Once you have put in the cash, press the numbers associated with the art piece you want, and down comes your purchase which can be retrieved from a push door below the machine’s glass window.
Artists that are featured in the machine create 12 pieces of original “fun size” art and 100% of the sales go back to the artist. Once selected and curated based on availability, the art is featured in the machine for a period of 1-2 months. Girard markets the featured artists and their work on her Facebook, Instagram, and blog and even creates a mini art gallery for the pieces which she also shares across her platforms. Visit her blog for information on contributing artwork.
While the vending machine is smaller than most traditional snack machines, Girard has an even smaller, Micro Art Candy Machine ,that she takes to events. “I give 12 recycled Scrabble tiles to the artists and they return them with art on them,” said Girard. “The money raised through sales here are donated to local art initiatives.”
Girard has over twenty years of experiences in the film and TV industry as a Set Decorator and Television Producer focused on home arts. She has since gone on to publish how-to books and produce content marketing for the craft publishing and manufacturing industries. Girard has an incredible passion and appreciation for art in the community which stretches far past her driveway where she has a position on the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission, is the Director of Development of California Creative Arts, and the Programs Chair of the Burbank Art Association.
Along with the Art Candy Machine, Girard’s home fence seconds as an art gallery, displaying paintings and canvases attached to the metal links. A bulletin board holds flyers for upcoming community art galleries and shows to share with neighbors. Anyone walking or driving by will enjoy the art experience Girard has set up at her home.
Next time you are driving down Oak st, make sure to stop by and support your local artists while taking home an original piece of art.