Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Indian Summer + Boston Bound

  Cup of the Day #114
"Indian Summer Taxis" view 1
 By Gwyneth Leech
India Ink on Upcycled Paper Coffee Cup

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

Event Details:

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.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

The Cups in London: Highlights from the Window

Cup of the Day #127
London Umbrellas by Gwyneth Leech - four views
Mixed media on used paper coffee cup

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.

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