What: The Hudgens 1st National Cup Exhibition

Where: Hudgens Center for the Arts, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, building 300, in Duluth.

When: On display through Sept. 19

The Hudgens Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for children, students and seniors, and children under 2 are free

A cup is just a cup, right? A functional object that you drink a beverage out of, then wash and store in a cabinet. But at the Hudgens Center for the Arts, a cup is also a handcrafted work of art.

The art education center and gallery is showcasing an eclectic collection of cups through Sept. 19 during its 1st National Cup Exhibition. There are over 300 cups on display, each with a unique look of its own, from whimsical and playful to elegant and rustic.

Angela Nichols, Director of Exhibitions and Programming for the Hudgens, said since a cornerstone of the Center’s educational programming is the large ceramics department, they host a large clay exhibit bi-annually.

This year’s exhibition, “clay :: form :: surface,” is an invitational featuring faculty and graduate students of the University of Georgia.

According to Nichols, the idea to host a cup show came while planning for “clay :: form :: surface,” during a conversation with the Hudgens Center’s Ceramic Studio Manager, clay artist Vernon Smith, while the two were traveling back from Athens.

“There are lots of different cup shows across the United States and internationally, and (Smith) was like, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we do a cup show?’” Nichols said. “We decided on that car ride to try to make it happen.”

There are two components to the Hudgens’ Cup Show: an invitational and a competitive juried show. They enlisted the help of artist Carr McCuiston, owner and operator of Atlanta’s Signature, originally known as The Signature Shop and Gallery.

Carr received her bachelor of fine arts degree from Auburn University and went on to study for a master’s degree in art education at Georgia State University. She has worked in the gallery off and on, spending nearly 20 years under the tutelage of Signature’s founder Blanche Reeves.

Carr has juried numerous national craft shows — she helped to put out a call for submissions to the Hudgens Center’s Cup Show to artists across the country and also invited artists to display their work in the invitational. Carr then selected the entries to be displayed and served as juror.

“I’ve been blown away with the quality of work. There are some really, really nice cups here,” Nichols said. “I think it’s really good for our students to be exposed to this variety, and there’s been a lot of excitement around it.”

The Hudgens 1st National Cup Show and “clay :: form :: surface” exhibitions will both be on display at the Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth through Sept. 19. The Opening Reception will be Saturday, from 2 to 4 p.m. All of the cups on display in The Hudgens 1st National Cup Show are for sale.

Stay Informed