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Coyote Art Makes Its Debut

Victoria Topham demonstrates magic in gumball machines this past May

Gumball machines used to be a fixture at the entrance of every grocery store in town. Some were filled with gumballs, but others with tiny treasures in plastic capsules. Place a quarter or two in the slot and turn the knob to release the machine’s treasure with an exciting "kerplunk."

The machines are rare these days, but the magical kerpunking of any vending device still holds charm. Enter Coyote Tale’s ART-O-MATIC—a repurposed gumball machine selling unique lilliputian crafts. For only 50 cents and a twirl of the knob, you might be the recipient of a capsule containing a one-of-a-kind, diminutive work of art created by a Red Mountain Elementary school student. All the proceeds from the sale of the art were donated to Red Mountain Elementary School to purchase art supplies for the students. 

The project was funded by Coyote Tales Storytelling events using funds raised from a pre-COVID-19 event’s gourmet bake sale concession stand. Audience members purchased upscale treats donated by Petite Feast. All proceeds from the bake sale were used to purchase the machines and art supplies to hold a special art experience for the fourth and fifth graders. During the class, the children sculpted and then painted figures inspired by their studies of the rainforest. An array of miniature frogs, toucans, flowers and snakes were enclosed within the machine's capsules. Additional capsules contain haikus written by students. The machines were stationed at Datura Art Gallery in the Kayenta Art Village, at Red Mountain Elementary School and other Ivins locations.

Note: On September 9, Coyote Tales will occur at The Ivins City Heritage Days Festival at Ivins City Park. Tales are true and told live.

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