The Cup Exhibitions

"1001 Cup Stories" by Gwyneth Leech, Mixed media on upcycled coffee cups, 
ArtPrize 6, Harris Building, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2014
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 to draw and paint on. And before I begin I inscribe the date, location and occasion on which the beverage was consumed so that every cup becomes the record of a social moment. The resulting upcycled cup artworks, now numbering over a 1000, have been on show in various venues around New York City and in other US states, as well as in London and Edinburgh, UK over the last three years. Scroll down to see images. 

For reviews and articles about the cup drawing project click here.

For my stories about art and life, cup in hand, click here.

For information about original artwork or commissions contact me at gwynethl(at)earthlink(dot)net



December News, 2014:

Food for Thought Exhibition
Many thanks to everyone who came to see my cup installations,
small sculptures and paintings in the Food for Thought exhibition
at the Hewitt Gallery, Marymount Manhattan College.
from November 6th to December 3rd, 2014.

Food for Thought
at the Hewitt Art Gallery
Marymount Manhattan College
221 East 71st Street.
Open 7 days a week, 9 AM - 9 PM
November 6 - December 3.

More information click here.

Cup and Paintings at Admit to Bitter, December 2014  
I showed brand new cup and painting pairs
based on the idea of the City as Coffee Cups.
at Admit to Bitter,
a pop-up gallery and shop in the South Street Seaport,
at 117 Beekman/Titanic Park, NYC,
open 12-7PM daily through the middle of December.

Click here for an interview with Jacqueline Joseph,
creator of Admit to Bitter.

New Cup Collection for Anthropologie 
for Holiday Season, 2014

 I am pleased to announce that my second collection of ceramic coffee cups 
for Anthropologie is now widely available in their USA and Canadian 
stores as well as online. Click here to purchase online, international shipping available!

Many thanks to you for following my ever-evolving cup journey!
It continues to be an adventure filled with unexpected twists and turns.
Wishing you all the best for the upcoming season of celebrations.



 1001 Coffee Cups Stories for ArtPrize 201


I am delighted to be taking part in ArtPrize, the world's largest art competition, 
taking place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 24-October 12.
I will be in Grand Rapids for a week, installing 1001 coffee cup artworks,
my largest cup art installation so far!
Then I will be drawing in the window of my venue for five days, September 24-28.
Visit me then, or see my installation any time between 9/24 and 10/12.

The venue:
Harris Building, 111 South Division Avenue in Downtown, Grand Rapids.

My drawing sessions:
12 - 2 PM, 9/24, 9/25. 9/26, 9/27 and 9/28,
plus 5-7 PM, Thursday, 9/25 and Saturday, 9/27.

The dates my installation will be on view:
September 24 - October 12.
Vote Code: 56642

Here's the link to my ArtPrize page with more information:



New Video: Tea with Faber-Castell


I am pleased to share a new video about my working process, from Faber-Castell, whose artist-quality Pitt pens I use when I draw on my coffee cups. It was shot on location last Spring in Hell's Kitchen and in my Garment District art studio. Click HERE to watch on You Tube.





 New York City, May 24-June 15, 2014

 Detail of "365: A Year in Cups" by Gwyneth Leech
Mixed Media on Upcycled Coffee Cups
at Westbeth Gallery, 55 Bethune Street, NYC
May 24-June 15

May 24–June 15


55 Bethune St, New York, NY 10014
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 1:00-6:00 pm; Closed Mon-Tues.

A multi-media exhibition curated by Elisa Decker and Barbara Lubliner featuring
19 artists who engage time as a palpable presence. Each artwork tells its own story, bringing attention to the temporal nature of life and inviting contemplation and dialogue about our relationship to time.

Artists Reception: Wednesday, June 4, 6:00-9:00 pm

Participating Artists: Mara Alper, Fran Beallor, Stefan Beltzig, Elisa Decker, Gwen Fabricant,
Liza Folman, Tony Foster, Ellen Grossman, Valerie Huhn, Suzanne Kelser,
Gwyneth Leech, Barbara Lubliner, John Mendelsohn, Elaine Norman,
Jeffrey Allen Price, Ronnie Seiden-Moss, Drew Shiflett, Linda Stillman,
Tamara Wyndham

I will be doing a live drawing event in the gallery on Saturday, May 31, 1:00-4:00 pm
and again on Sunday, June 15, 3:00-6:00 pm.
See you there!




 Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 2013


Anthropologie Harvard Square Hosts Live Art Exhibition

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  full selection of the exhibition photos click here 
For a feature article in Boston Magazine click here.

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



Open Studio, October 2013

 Experiments in Color and Form: Oil paint on upcycled paper coffee cups
  A new installation by Gwyneth Leech, October 2013

Please join me in the studio to see new ideas and artwork in progress!

Thursday October 24th, 6 - 9 PM
Saturday October 26th, 1 - 6 PM

Address: 315 West 39th Street, #1306
New York, NY 10036

Visit for the most up to date festival information.


 365 - A Year in Cups: the Movie

Thank you to British film-maker, Chris Floyd, for this delightful short film shot while I was working in the window of Anthropologie in Regent Street during the London Design Festival in September!

Gwyneth Leech 365 - A Year in Cups from Anthropologie Europe on Vimeo.


London Design Festival, September 2013

Cup Drawings by Gwyneth Leech
 Mixed media on upcycled paper coffee cups

I am delighted to announce a collaboration with Anthropologie that will launch during the London Design Festival in September with an exhibition of 365 of my original cup artworks in the window of their store at 158 Regent Street
And I will be there for five days, from September 14 -18, drawing on cups!

If you happen to be in London then, please come on by and see me at work in the window.
Dates and times as follows:

Sat 14th & Sun 15th: 12pm - 3pm
Mon 16th: 11am - 2pm
Tue 17th & Wed 18th: 4pm - 7pm

The cup art installation will be on view 24 hours a day through October 2nd.

For those of you in Scotland, I will also be doing a one day event in Edinburgh at Anthropologie's George Street store on Saturday, September 21st from 12 - 3pm. 

For Photographs of the London exhibition click here and here.
For the Design Festival program page click the following link: Gwyneth Leech: 365 -A Year in Cups.



 Three New Cup Art Installations, Spring 2013


Wall of 235 hand-painted and drawn cups by Gwyneth Leech 2011-2013 
In "Gathering Place", No Longer Empty at 24 West 8th Street, in NYC

I am delighted to be showing (and about to show) three new cups installations in galleries in and near NYC: 
"Gathering Place" by No Longer Empty at 24 West 8th Street
Greenwich Village, NY
Fri -Mon 1- 7 pm, through March 23rd

"Diptychs, Triptcyhs and Multiples"
City Without Walls, Newark
Tues - Sat 12- 6pm, through April 13th

Gwyneth Leech : The Cup Drawings #1 - #365
in "Diptychs, Triptychs and Multiples"
at City Without Walls Gallery
Newark, NJ, through April 13th 2013.

"Family/City Shift"
Susan Teller Gallery
568 Broadway, 502
Tues - Sat 11- 6pm, April 13 to May 11
An official part of the 2013 New Museum's Ideas City Festival


Opening reception for "Gathering Place"
at 24 West 8th Street, Greenwich Village, NYC
The public tries its hand at drawing on cups
February, 2012 



 The Cup Drawings in the New York Fashion District Arts Festival, Fall 2012 


Wall of Cups, 2012
by Gwyneth Leech
Drawings on upcycled paper coffee cups 

My cup drawings were on view in October 
as part of the 2012 NYC Fashion District Arts Festival, 
as an installation of my latest cup drawings 
from recent travels in Ecuador.
Click here for festival and open studio schedule.

Amazonas Cups, 2012
By Gwyneth Leech
India ink on upcycled paper coffee cups


The Cup Drawings at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art, Texas,
Summer 2012

Gwyneth Leech : The Cup Drawings #1 - #655

655 of the  Cup Drawings were featured  as part of "Luxuriant Refuse"
at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art, Spring Texas
in the summer of 2012

 Gwyneth Leech : The Cup Drawings #1 - #655, detail 
  at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art in Spring Texas, Summer 2012

May 19 - August 5, 2012
The Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts presents the exhibition Luxuriant Refuse curated by Melissa Grobmyer of MKG Art Management. Artists in the exhibition choose detritus as a medium, exploring ideas about consumption, creativity, and transformation. Artists include Adela Andea, Johnston Foster, Allison Foshee, Sarah Frost, Gwyneth Leech, Shawne Major, Aurora Robson, Betsabeé Romero, and Paul Villinski.

Opening Reception

Tuesday, June 5
All are invited to an evening event with MKG Art Management on Tuesday, June 5 from 6:30-8:30pm at the Pearl.

Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts

6815 Cypresswood Drive
Spring, TX 77379
281.376.6322, fax 281.376.2944



The Cup Drawings in the Flatiron Prow Artspace, New York City,
Winter 2011/12

 "Gwyneth Leech: the Cup Drawings, Studio in the Prow" 
installation in the Flatiron Arspace NYC. 
Photo © Marianne Barcellona 2011, all rights reserved

Gwyneth Leech The Cup Drawings - Studio in the Prow
at the Sprint Artspace, Flatiron Building, NYC
where 5th Avenue and Broadway cross at 23rd Street.

The exhibition ran from September 20th, 2011 - February 18th, 2012
the artist drew in the window Tuesday - Saturday, 11AM - 2PM
for five months.

Art on Upcycled Coffee Cups

I like my hot coffee or tea in a paper take-out cup, like millions of my fellow citizens. Even better than the contents, I like the used cup as a surface to draw and paint on. And before I begin I inscribe the date, location and occasion on which the beverage was consumed so that every cup becomes the record of a social moment. Over 800 of the resulting paper cup artworks are currently on show, suspended in the Prow of the historic Flatiron Building in the heart of Manhattan on 23rd Street where Fifth Avenue and Broadway intersect.

The art installation, "Gwyneth Leech, the Cup Drawings, Studio in the Prow"  has been described by reviewers as "spell-binding" and "a New York treasure".

I have been sitting in the windows of the Flatiron Prow five days a week since September 20, 2011 drawing and painting on ever more cups and adding them to the installation.

Now in its final month, the show closes on February 18th.

But there is still time to come to the Flatiron and see the artworks which are on view 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are intrepid, when I am present you can enter the Flatiron Prow through the adjacent Sprint store for conversation and to do some drawing of your own.

For the past four months visitors from around the globe have been doing exactly that and sharing their experiences virally on hundreds of blogs and photo sites in a dozen different languages.
Read some here: Articles and blogs

Gwyneth Leech, the Cup Drawings
in the Sprint Flatiron Prow Artspace, NYC



The Cup Drawings Open in the Flatiron Prow Artspace, New York City, September 2011

I am thrilled to announce that the latest version of my drawing-on-used-paper-coffee-cups project
will be at the FLATIRON BUILDING, NYC,
in the glass windows (the Prow)
where 5th Avenue and Broadway cross at 23rd Street.

I will be drawing in the windows Tuesday - Saturday 11AM - 2PM
from September 20 - February 18.

Yes, five months. Yes, that's some commitment.

Bring me one of your own used paper coffee cups
with your name and the date you drank the beverage written on the bottom.
and I will add it to the installation.

Two rules:   
Wash out your cup first.
No Styrofoam!



Gwyneth Leech and the Cup Drawings go to Buck House,

July 2011

1318 Madison Avenue, NYC
June 9th, 2011



The Cup Drawings in the Fashion Center Window Space for Public Art, NYC, Spring 2011


Set of Cityscape Cups by Gwyneth Leech
India Ink on upcycled paper coffee cups

Gwyneth Leech, the Cup Drawings

February 28 - April 1, 2011

Fashion Center Window Space for Public Art 
215 West 38th Street 
New York, NY 10028

Monday - Friday, 9:00AM - 5:00PM

The artist was on-site drawing and adding to the installation 

Monday - Friday, 11:30AM - 1:00PM 

An Installation of Drawings on Upcycled Paper Coffee Cups

With Leech's diverse background in painting, video, ceramics, calligraphy, wood engraving and other printmaking techniques, the cup series began as a casual outgrowth of her compelling urge to draw wherever she is. One day, without a sketchbook handy, Leech used what was available in the moment. The curved form, challenge of working with existing shapes, colors, and text, and the infinite possibilities of expressive variation became as addictive as the caffeinated beverage the cup once contained. In addition to raising issues of consumerism, post-consumer waste and environmental concerns the cups are essentially about what drawing is: a conversation between mark making and surface. Building, layering and obliterating through memory, observation and working from within, this meditative process begins with an initial response to each cup and takes on a life of its own.

Leech's range of subject has no boundaries. Her interest in fractal patterning and the fragmenting and meandering of memory and life itself offers an expansive, flowing, bottomless well of imagery, from figurative cityscapes, flora, fauna, mythological winged creatures, and dance performance to abstracted aerial marsh views, biomorphic forms and purely non-objective design. The list is endless because the work is infinite and ongoing. Unlike working on a flat plane, drawing in the round also affords a connectivity of shapes and continuous movement.

Before any drawing begins, Leech records the date, location and related circumstances on the bottom of each cup after it has been rinsed. Combining traditional and non-traditional materials including Faber Castell brush pens, gel pens, white-out pens, Sumi ink, oil or acrylic paint with encaustic and/or polymer varnish with ultra-violet protection, Leech transforms the ubiquitous paper coffee cup into a chance to hold her imagination and her New York City in the palm of your hand.

Inspired by the nearly extinct art of letter writing, an integral extension of this project is Leech's blog, Gwyneth's Full Brew, featuring cup drawings along with "vivid New York slice of life stories about the vagaries and incidental pleasures of being an artist in this crowded, expensive, crazy and inspiring city." 
Artist's Bio
Gwyneth Leech earned her BA at the University of Pennsylvania and a BFA and Post Graduate DA at Edinburgh College of Art, UK. The recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a Glasgow District Council's European Capital of Culture Project Grant, Scottish Arts Council Time Based Media Award, University of Colorado's President's Fund Grant and Elizabeth Greenshields Memorial Award, Leech's work resides in important private and public collections such as the American Museum, Bath, UK; British Broadcasting Corporation; Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council, UK; Edinburgh City Art Galleries; Royal Bank of Scotland; Strathclyde University, UK and the Theater Royal, Glasgow. Museum shows and gallery exhibitions include the Southwest Minnesota State University Art Museum, Marshall, MN; La MaMa La Galleria, NYC; Ayr Art Gallery and Museum, UK; Kilmarnock Art Gallery and Museum, UK; Dundee Museum of Natural History, UK; and the Gallery of Contemporary Art, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, CO