From November 21st - 23rd, I had great fun in residence in the window of Anthroplogie's store at 48 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. This event launched my porcelain cup line in the USA, with an installation of 365 of the original hand-drawn and painted cups and three days of live art-making. Here are my favorite photos of the drawing sessions - two during the day and one in the evening. I was pleased to meet up with old friends there and to make new ones of all ages. The denizens of Cambridge ask great questions!
- A year in Cups - an installation of hand drawn and painted cups, plus
the artist, Gwyneth Leech, who was at work in the window of Anthropologie Harvard Square from November 21st-23rd.
I am thrilled that the porcelain cups are now available for purchase from Anthropologie stores around the USA! I recommend you phone your local store before you go to make sure they are in stock. You can also purchase easily online at this link (click on the colors to see all eight designs).
The porcelain cups on display in the store. Loved how they look with the white espresso-maker.
Next adventure: Miami for art fair week. I will be drawing on cups at various locations around the fairs. I promise to post a full report here when I get back. In the meantime, I will be revealing my coordinates daily on Twitter #gwynethleech), Instagram (#gwynethleech) and Facebook pages. Follow me there, or catch up with me if you are in Miami this week!
Anthropologie Harvard Square. The stage is set.
November 21st. Live Art Exhibition, Day One.
Taking a seat in the window on Day 1. I selected the aqua velvet arm chair from the store.
Soon I had friends to draw with.
The cups at dusk. What amazing colors, between the wall and the sky!
November 22nd. Day 2 is an evening session.
Explaining the Process
Looking for the Best Shot.
November 23rd, the final Day. Quick! Sketch this one before he walks on!
I had some fun with drawing a cup of cups. Meta!
Watching the artist draw
Friends came to visit.
And to shop for cups!
To order the porcelain cups from Anthropologie online click here.
Indian Summer has enveloped New York City, with golden trees brilliant against blue skies. I captured this season on a cup about a year ago, and it was fun to see the imagery reiterated as I walked through the West Village yesterday. Click here to read the original story. As chance would have it, this Indian Summer cup is one of the eight reproduced in a limited edition by Anthropologie, and it will be on sale in the their stores soon. To read about the preview of the cups during the London Design Festival this past September click here and here.
Fall foliage still lights up Cornelia Street and
7th Avenue, mid-November in the West Village, NYC
Later today I am heading by train to Boston, carrying with me a large duffel containing 365 cup artworks to be installed in the window of Anthropologie's store in Cambridge, at 48 Brattle Street, just off Harvard Square. I will be on site Wednesday through Saturday this week, first hanging the cups and then drawing in public for three days. See the schedule and read the official press release below.
Please join me if you are in the Boston area, or share with friends. And watch this space for updates and photos!
Anthropologie Cambridge to Host Live Art Exhibition
Anthropologie 48 Brattle Street Cambridge, MA
November 21st, 12 – 3 pm November 22nd, 4 – 7 pm November 23rd, 12 -3 pm
The window exhibition will be on view 24/7 from November 21st – 30th
Anthropologie is pleased to announce a special live art event and window exhibition to celebrate the work of fine artist Gwyneth Leech. The artist will be on site November 21st, 22nd and 23rd drawing in the window of our Cambridge location. The exhibition, which will remain on view through November 30th, will showcase her passion for public art and her love of drawing and painting on paper coffee cups.
Leech’s expressive artwork will delight and inspire all those passing by. The process behind her hand-drawn cups is highly personal and observational, imparting new meaning and value on what is considered a disposable object. She explains, "I like my hot coffee or tea in a paper take-out cup, like millions of my fellow New Yorkers. Even better than the contents, I like the used cup as a surface on which to draw and paint. And before I begin, I write on the bottom the date, location, occasion and the beverage consumed so that every cup becomes the record of a social moment.”
Leech began working in this uncommon way while attending meetings over coffee in 2009. Quickly consumed by the practice, she soon created enough cup artworks to display in public art spaces and galleries around New York City. Her largest installation, at the Sprint Flatiron Prow Artspace in New York City in 2012, featured more than 850 of her pieces. Leech’s most recent exhibition, in Anthropologie’s Regent Street location during the London Design Festival in September 2013, garnered public and critical acclaim, including coverage in Selvedge, The Financial Times, The Observer and The Telegraph.
Anthropologie has partnered with Leech to transform her artwork into ceramic versions that can be enjoyed by a larger audience. The eight designs, in limited edition reproductions, are inspired by her life in New York and capture everyday moments, from taking a walk in Central Park to rushing through the city in a rain shower. They will be available just in time for the holidays on Anthropologie’s website and in all store locations.
For a video of the artist at work, click here. For recent reviews and articles click here.
My regular New York City life has resumed, but recently I have been enjoying again the photos taken while I was drawing in public for the 2013 London Design Festival in September. A riot of umbrellas dominates the scene, as does the parade of red double-decker buses and a constant throng of international visitors engaging me though the plate glass windows of Anthropologie's Regent Street store. It is an additional pleasure to see the faces of friends from other UK cities who came to London and surprised me as I worked! I savor anew the several spectacular afternoon teas I manged to squeeze in, most notably at the Dorcehster and the Charlotte Street Hotel. Many thanks to the friends who braved those multi-tiered cake trays with me!!
My line of porcelain cups, produced in collaboration with Anthropologie and previewed at the London Design Festival, is due to come out in the USA in just a few short weeks. Launch date and details of some special events will follow shortly! I the meantime, one more look at London...
The first evening - cups are installed and the rain comes on.
View from inside the store - raining cups at dusk.
Into the window to draw. This was my temporary studio for five days.
As soon as I begin, the crowds gather.
Visitors from all over the world stroll the length of Regent Street. Outside, are the daughters of an art collector from Kuwait who stepped in to purchase an original cup drawing.
People are surprised and delighted to see a live artist at work in the window.
I am happy to engage them through the plate glass and converse with everyone who comes into the store. Photo credit: Sarah Kerens
Cup drawings from London: Red double-decker buses
People racing through torrents of rain.
And yet more rain!
My subject matter driving by.
And a portrait of a girl through the window.
Finally the sun comes out!
I have tea with Alice Sykes in the window.
Am delighted by a sumptuous afternoon tea at the Dorchester.
Note the raspberries tipped with gold!
And on another afternoon, take tea with friends at the Charlotte Street Hotel. Mine is a "Bloomsbury tea", hence the amazing color of the cakes. And no, I can't finish it all!!
Back at Anthropologie, the reproduction cups were selling briskly.
And I meet some of the purchasers. Here is Rosalba visiting from Rome.
On my last afternoon, as a viewer puzzles over the cups, I enjoy the reflection
of Regent Street curving down towards Picadilly Circus.
All too soon, the week was over. I was very sorry to vacate my chair and leave the window studio behind. The cup installation stayed up for several more weeks after the end of the Design Festival, but is now safely back in my NYC studio awaiting the next exhibition!
For additional photos and cup videos visit me on instagram and twitter(@gwynethleech) or follow me on Facebook.
Well, London was amazing! Now I am back in New York City sorting through photos and I will be posting a wrap-up soon. In the meantime, many thanks to NYC photographer Sara Kerens for her gorgeous photos, and to British film-maker, Chris Floyd, for this delightful short film. It was shot and edited just a few weeks ago while I was actually working in the window of Anthropologie in Regent Street during the London Design Festival. It really captures the moment for me. And the filming was a lot of fun.
Cup Artwork by Gwyneth Leech, mixed media on used paper coffee cups
I am actually here, treading the stones of Regent Street which curves gracefully down from Oxford Circus, its domes and handsome facades washed by light rain this morning and people hurrying by with umbrellas or jumping on red double-decker buses. This is London of the imagination!
September 13th, a rainy Friday
I spent the day yesterday unpacking and hanging the cups, assisted by Anna and Heather, two delightful young women who work at Anthropologie. Before we knew it, 365 cups appeared to be free floating in the window space and crowds were already gathering outside to take photos. Tomorrow, the Design Festival begins and I will take up residence in the window to draw for five days. See the schedule below.
Anthropologie at 158 Regent Street, London
The cup artwork, as packed for travel
I was relieved to see that the porcelain cups in eight of my designs have arrived in-store. After many months of imagining this, how fascinating to see my drawings so multiplied on rows and stacks of cups! At the moment, the porcelain cups are available exclusively in the Regent Street store. Details of a wider launch will follow.
The Porcelain cups are in-store at Regent Street
Heather directed me to several local coffee bars, just around the corner in Golden Square. I was especially taken with Nordic Cafe, not just the coffee but the cinnamon rolls! An additional treat was watching the games of municipal ping pong and large-scale chess going forward in the square itself. Definitely enjoying some dolce vita in the calm before the festival gets underway.
Some outdoor entertainment in Golden Square on Thursday evening.