Waterloo Region has been called the creative capital of Canada and although Kitchener and Waterloo get a lot of attention for their local artists and art programs, other towns within the region often go unnoticed.
The Dundee Arts Collective (TDAC) was founded in 2020 by Kate Cox and Jenny Miller in New Dundee. The collective supports local artists by giving them space to showcase and sell their work, while their shop features products such as tea from Grand River Tea and chocolate from Esta Chocolates. The shop also sells DIY kits for art projects, including felting or pottery from Mindful Makers.
Recently, they received funding from the Waterloo Regional Arts Fund and used it to purchase two vending machines for their new TDAC Vending Machine project.
“Our objective is really to bring art into people’s homes, and to expand what’s offered here in some of the more rural communities,” Cox said.
These vending machines will include artworks and DIY art kits, both created by local artists. DIY kits include activities such as home felting and pottery kits. They will be placed outside of TDAC and at local events the collective attends.
“We selected artists by looking for people that we felt represented the Waterloo regional community. [We have contributors] with really diverse backgrounds, we have people who are really diverse thinkers, we have a broad selection of types of art as well,” Cox said.
“We’ve got painting in the machine, we’ve actually got some writings, [such as] zines. We wanted the vending machine to represent the kind of people that you would find in Waterloo Region.”
The idea for the machines came partially from similar projects in the UK and Germany. For example, there is the Kunstautomat project in Berlin that allows customers to purchase original art.
The vending machine will be glass fronted so patrons can see the items they are purchasing. TDAC is planning to have their vending machine outside in early June. Customers will be able to use cash to purchase items ranging from $5 to $20.
To find out more about TDAC or their vending machines, for more information, visit www.dundee-arts.ca or @dundeearts on social media.