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 Gwyneth first exhibited her cup drawings as public art installations in several locations around New York City. Her largest installation, of over 850 cup drawings, was on view in the Sprint Flatiron Prow Artspace on 23rd and Broadway from September 2011 to February 2012, and was included in "Luxuriant Refuse" at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art, outside Houston Texas from June to August 2012. In 2013 she has created site specific cup art 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, the cups went Regent Street in London during London Design Week.
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 NYC and in Texas.
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.
In 2005 Gwyneth painted the 14 stations of the cross as a commission for Saint Paul's on the Green in Norwalk, Connecticut. She set the traditional narrative in the midst of contemporary conflict in the Middle East. As a result, the Stations were the subject of numerous newspaper articles, television news items and online debates. Her oil studies for the Norwalk Stations of the Cross were exhibited at Equator Books and Gallery in Venice, California in March 2006 and Avenue 50 Studio Gallery in Los Angeles in January 2006. Several of the paintings were also featured at Susan Teller Gallery, New York City, in 2005 as part of "the Family Business: 1877-2005", a group exhibition of artists from eight artist families.
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 and New York City. In New York City, she has exhibited at Susan Teller Gallery, Cheryl McGinnis Gallery, Franklin 54, La MaMa La Galleria, the Sprint Flatiron Artspace, Art at First and the New York Public Library. 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.