Since moving to New York City in 1999, I have been exploring different ideas about public drawing: drawing in public view, drawing with the public, and getting the public to draw. These projects appeal to my curiosity about where ideas come from and how images are generated.

People are perennially fascinated by the artist's ability to make something out of nothing in the act of drawing. Generally, children assume they can pick up materials and do the same. Adults can be reluctant to try. However, I have found that the act of drawing in public on used paper coffee cups is both meditative and a social lubricant, making people hyper-aware of the present moment and more open to conversation. In the end, few people resist the chance to alter and take home used coffee cups that are no longer trash but a vehicle for art, ideas, conversation and memories of a social moment upcycled from the detritus of our throw-away caffeine culture.


In 2011 and 2012, I exhibited my cup artworks in public window spaces in NYC for a total of 6 1/2 months. During that time, I was on view drawing on cups five days a week. While doing a five month visible drawing residency in the Flatiron Prow Artspace at 23rd in Broadway, I invited the public to join me for drawing and conversation which they did in large numbers. They were invited to take away the cups they drew and begin upcycling art projects at home. I continued this public drawing project in 2013 during cup art installations for Anthropologie in London and Edinburgh, UK, and in Cambridge, MA.


In the summer of 2012, the cup drawing installation went to the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art outside Houston, Texas as part of a group show entitled "Luxuriant Refuse". I travelled to Texas to give gallery talks and facilitated several cup drawing workshops, for seniors and families.


During the NYC Pool Art Fair in 2010, I created a "Studio on a Bed" in my room at the Gershwin Hotel. Here, surrounded by my paintings of alternative families, the public were invited to draw their own ideas of family using art materials I provided. The resulting 150 drawings were displayed in a pop-up gallery in the bathroom, steadily accumulating for the duration of the art fair.


The Family Drawing project, begun during "Studio on a Bed" at the Pool Art Fair, went to the Figment Arts Festival on Governor's Island in June 2010. The public were again invited to draw their idea of family with provided art materials, and this time, to build a community family tree. The drawings were exhibited around the trunk of a literal tree and they accumulated over the course of the weekend festival.
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