The Guerilla Mug AssaultNovember 8, 2012 through January 1, 2013
On November 8, 2012, The Clay Studio hit the streets of Philadelphia. Stationed at six different locales with both foot traffic and an abundance of coffee shops, teams gave away 500 beautifully crafted handmade ceramic mugs to 500 individuals with disposable cups. A tag attached to each mug included information about the project, the mugs maker, and The Clay Studios blog address with a statement encouraging the recipient to post about their experiences using their chosen mug and the relationship they develop with it.
This Guerilla Mug Assault, partially funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundations Knight Arts Challenge Grant, is part of a larger project titled Made by Hand. The project began in August 2012 with two exhibitions: Derek Au Recent Work and Pots at Rest. The exhibitions explored both obvious and subliminal associations one may draw with tableware including nourishment, the sharing of food, social hierarchies of dining, and these objects abilities to serve as reminders of people, time and place.
The Clay Studios Artistic Director Jeff Guido states, Countless exhibitions have been realized on tableware, but none that ask both maker and user to define its relevance or function in their lives, and more broadly, its role in present day culture - Why do people buy it and why do people make it? With the Made by Hand project, multiple voices and points of view will be given equal opportunity to express what it means to them. And the project moves beyond the converted, taking the art to the streets with the Guerilla Mug Assault, which removes a barrier for many when it comes to the handmade price.
BUY A MUG & HELP THE CLAY STUDIO REACH OUR MATCHING GOAL OF $15,000
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundations Knight Arts Challenge is a three year, $9 million initiative funding innovative projects that engage and enrich Philadelphias communities. In 2011, Out of 1,752 applicants and 36 winners, The Clay Studio is honored to receive a $15,000 matching grant in support of the Guerilla Mug Assault.
Owners of Cafe Ole in Old City show off their mugs made by artists Theo Uliano of Pennsylvania (left) and Posey Bacopoulos of New York (right).
Clay Studio Volunteers Lynne Berman and Tina Cheung giving away a mug to an enthusiastic Philadelphian