About this project
What is the Free Art Machine?
The intrepid inventors at Chicago The Beautiful have produced a marvelous machine, a Free Art Machine. This incredible instrument, this miraculous mechanism, produces free art fantastically for just a dollar a unit! But we need your help to kickstart the Free Art Machine and keep it running...
The Free Art Machine is a project envisioned by two Chicago artists and their arts initiative, Chicago The Beautiful. The goal of the project is to produce thousands of pieces of free art made with public submissions, for distribution in various creative ways. The project will support local Chicago artists while simultaneously cultivating art appreciation.
The most exciting part of the Free Art Machine is how it self-amplifies. Once it starts running, all donations are fed back into the machine and converted into free art. This art will draw more viewers and artists to contribute, producing more and more art.
Artists can reach art-lovers via the Free Art Machine. When the art-lover finds a piece that speaks to them, they can pull it off the wall and keep it. The artist's information will be on the back of the block, putting the art consumer in direct contact with their new favorite artist. They will then have the opportunity to view and purchase more work from that artist.
So the machine functions as a forum for artists and art appreciators, as well as a catalyst which stimulates third-party exchanges of art beyond The Free Art Machine's initial function.
The photo block is our first design for free art. It is a 3.5" x 3.5" x .75" block of wood with a photo securely adhered to the front. On the back will be the edition number, artist's initials and a drilled hole for hanging (thumbtack size). Every image will be made in limited quantities to ensure uniqueness. We are looking upon the abundant talent in this city to flood our inbox with great art. We have open submissions for the free art machine, so send the images you think would make great free art.
Send your images via our easy to use UPLOADER
or Email us at email@example.com
Chicago The Beautiful will be working with cafes, restaurants, and other venues to display walls of free art. We will install and stock the location with free art. Depending on the venue we will decide on the size of the wall, and how many blocks to supply.
To start, six locations around Chicago will be selected to host a free art wall. For example, one of these will be the Jupiter Outpost Cafe in Chicago's West loop. We will spread out the locations to make sure we cover Chicago. If you are in charge of a space in Chicago make sure to contact us to host an art wall.
Each free art wall includes a donation box, the money collected will be used to produce more art and keep the free art machine alive.
Studio 914 and Chicago the Beautiful will be hosting many free art events at the CTB workshop/gallery space in West Town, Chicago. The nights will feature original Chicago art, free food, live music, and free art.
We are looking to you to come to us with your space, ideas and visions for ways that free art can be distributed and appreciated.
We believe art is free. Art is everywhere, and like nature, its beauty is both timeless and personal. The act of discernment and appreciation is the starting point for finding this True beauty. Our aim is to inspire these acts of awareness in everyone for their better understanding of the inherent beauty all around us.
All pledges are divided 50/50 between free art and the production of rewards.
- 50% toward production of free art pieces: At $1 per unit, $100 will produce 100 pieces of free art. If we meet our kickstarter goal, the Free Art Machine will produce 4000 pieces of free art for distribution in cafes, art galleries, and at unique events. As an example, if we receive $50,000, the Free Art Machine will produce 25,000 pieces of free art.
- 50% toward production of rewards: The funds received for production of the rewards includes minimal labor costs, ensuring that even with a massive number of orders our hand-made products will be delivered on time. Local Chicago artists and artisans can quickly be employed to help with the timely production of your rewards.
Ya gotta work with what ya got. This what we do, and we are offering it to you in the name of free art.
The rewards will be hand-crafted products and services produced by the two artists who first envisioned the project, plus free art produced by the Free Art Machine. Rewards include photo mounting / resin coating services.
Resin Framing Service - Resin frames are high quality photo prints on handmade wooden frames coated in a two-part epoxy polymer resin. This seals the print and protects it from the damaging effects of water and UV rays.
-Our printing is done on a Lambda printer using Kodak Endura paper at 400dpi.
For more information visit:
Please contact us, we'd love to hear from you,
Leo and Max
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge posed to the project will be staying on schedule if we are flooded with orders and contributions. Suppose we receive $80,000 from Kickstarter, we would be faced with the obstacle of how to produce 40,000 pieces of free art, in addition to the $40,000 worth of resin coating services. Doing all that in a timely manner will require an expansion and rearrangement of our operation, but we are prepared. Local artists and artisans from our community can step in quickly to fill the work force gap. Free art pieces can be contracted to talented artists around the country, and the resin service can be performed by novice artisans under our supervision in our Chicago workshop. We've done the math and we're ready.
The second challenge will be finding adequate venues for distribution. In our experience this will be a lesser issue. Many cafes throughout Chicago are happy to host individual artists on their walls, let alone host a wall of free art without any loss to their business. The free art walls have a magical attractive power that most any retail business owner can see the value in.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes, we are just looking for talented artists. We just happen to have a soft spot for Chicago, Hence the name. Please submit your images!
Yes, just be sure to pick the reward with --INTERNATIONAL BACKERS ONLY-- on it.
No. None of the free art for distribution will be coated in resin. However, resin coated photo blocks are in some rewards, there are also bigger resin coated frames as rewards.
The free art will be distributed in various forms all around the world. We are looking for submission from people to host walls in their community. If you are interested in this please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned to our Twitter feed and Tumblr locations of distribution.
Support this project
- (40 days)