New York City artist, Gwyneth Leech began drawing on her empty paper coffee cups during meetings in 2009. One thing led to another and the practice came to absorb her completely. In 2011 she first exhibited her massed cup artworks as an installation in the Fashion Centerís Window Space for Public Art on West 39th Street in New York City's Garment District. Her presence drawing in the window was a significant part of the project.
In the fall of 2011, the cup art installation transferred to the Sprint Flatiron Prow Artspace, 23rd and Broadway, NYC. The artist was in residence drawing in public five days a week from September 2011 to February 2012, resulting in a final collection of 850 cup artworks. Subsequently, "Drawings 1-655" were included in "Luxuriant Refuse" at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art, Spring, Texas in 2012. In 2013 she created site-specific installations for City Without Walls Gallery in Newark, NJ, No Longer Empty in NYC and for the Susan Teller Gallery, also in NYC. In September 2013, "365: A Year in Cups", a window installation for Anthropologie Regent Street, was a highlight of the London Design Festival.
For over a decade, Gwyneth has been exploring different ideas about public drawing: drawing in public view, drawing with the public, and getting the public to draw. She first drew in the public eye as part of Shiku Haku, a theater piece with Indalo Arts at La MaMa Theatre Club in 2000. In 2010, using the theme of family, she explored getting the public to draw in projects for the Pool Art Fair and for Figmentís summer festival on Governorís island in NYC. In 2011-2013 she drew with the public as part of nearly all her cup installations, in New York, Massachusetts, Texas, London and Edinburgh.
Prior projects include a series of alternative family portraits in oils called Perfect Family, first exhibited at Franklin 54 Gallery in New York City in October 2006. The exhibition then traveled to the Southwest Minnesota State University Art Museum in January 2007. The exhibition was on view, with the addition of new paintings, at the New York Public Library, Columbus branch in 2009 and in the Art at First Gallery, First Presbyterian Church, NYC in 2010.
A native of Philadelphia, Gwyneth Leech was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland. She has exhibited her paintings and drawings widely in Britain and in the United States, including solo exhibitions in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York City. In New York City, she has exhibited at Susan Teller Gallery, Franklin 54, La MaMa La Galleria, the Sprint Flatiron Artspace, Art at First, the New York Public Library and with No Longer Empty. Her many awards and grants include a University of Colorado President's Fund Grant, A Greenshields Award, three awards from the Scottish Arts Council and a Thouron Exchange Fellowship.
In the last two years, Gwynethís cup installations and projects have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Boston Magazine, American Craft Magazine, the Telegraph Magazine, the Observer Magazine, the Financial Times and Time Out London, as well as in hundreds of online magazines and blogs. She has been a fine artist collaborator with Anthropologie, Inc. since 2013.