I was headed West on 29th Street from Broadway to shoot some photos of the many and varied food-related artworks in the exhibition Eat/Art at Atlantic Gallery, where I am showing three cup drawings.
Cup of the Day #53
Trio of Gingerbread Cups by Gwyneth Leech
Colored ink, sumi ink and white-out pen
on paper coffee cups
I was hankering after a coffee but discovered that the blocks I was treading are a culinary desert, being instead the Midtown heart of bling; store after store is an Aladdin's cave of costume jewellery, watches, trinkets and ornamented baseball caps. On each door stern notices are taped:"Wholesale Only, "Tax ID Required", "No Retail". What is it about such admonitions that make me want to buy something?
Just past my gallery destination, a sandwich board annoucing a studio sale at 155 West 29th caught my eye, and I detoured up in a worn freight elevator to Daniel Levy's amazing porcelain-ware production studio on the third floor. He has been working in the neighborhood for many years and had a wealth of exquisite handmade objects for sale. I left with a black and white cup and the beginning of an idea about porcelain coffee cups in my head.
In Eat/Art at Atlantic Gallery, just a few doors away, the shopping opportunities are plentiful. All the artworks are 12" or less, very reasonably priced and can be taken home at purchase. In addition, 10% of each art sale during the show goes to Just Food, "a local nonprofit organization that connects farms to inner-city residents and helps them grow their own food and otherwise increase their access to fresh ingredients."
Coffee filter artwork by Linda Stillman
Medium: used coffee filter,
acrylic on panel with plastic cap
Better yet, head on down to see the show yourself. It is up through December 23rd, at 135 West 29th Street, Suite 601.
As I was leaving, I asked Pamela Talese, organizer of group shows at the gallery how she survives working in such a caffeine wasteland. "Oh, you just turned the wrong way when you got off the train. Stumptown at 29th, is just a half block the other side of Broadway. It will more than meet your needs."
Indeed, at Stumptown the beautifully lit display cases of pastry, the juanty fedoras the staff wear and the impeccable fern pattern in my latte foam were works of art in their own right.
And the coffee, roasted in Red Hook, was excellent too.
Kokkino by Zekio Dawson