Java Divas (coffee-themed art exhibit at South Puget Sound Community College, April 2006)

Curated by Diane Kurzyna, Java Divas was a group art show with a coffee theme. See pics of the show HERE

In conjunction with SPSCC’s Coffee Conference, the Gallery at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts was proud to serve Java Divas, an exhibit that featured a wide array of interpretations to the theme of coffee. From Ross Palmer Beecher’s recycled media to Greg Lukens allegorical oil paintings, from Sequoia Miller’s functional ceramics to Nikki McClure’s paper cut logos, over two dozen artists from the Puget Sound area created art about coffee with coffee beans, coffee cans, coffee cups, coffee filters, coffee grinds, coffee sacks, even coffee as the medium itself, through painting, sculpture, collage, encaustics, prints, photographs, felt, and more. The Northwest premier of “Coffee Duet“ performance art video by Lydia Grey with Hilliard Greene from New York City was also shown.


“There is something more to coffee than its caffeine stimulus, its action on the taste buds of the tongue and mouth. The sense of smell and the sense of sight play important roles. To get all the joy there is in a cup of coffee, it must look good and smell good, before one can pronounce its taste good. It must woo us through the nostrils with the wonderful aroma that constitutes much of the lure of coffee.“ William H. Ukers, 1935

Coffee can be a social lubricant that brings people together for stimulating conversations, or a private ritual that opens one“™s eyes first thing in the morning. A myriad of ways exist as to how coffee is prepared and imbibed, and countless songs are sung about the joys and woes of coffee. As the curator of Java Divas, I wanted to celebrate the diversity of coffee by inviting a disparate group of artists who work in a wide range of media and styles to investigate the theme of coffee. Some of these artists have used this theme in their work before; for some, this was a new topic. Some of the artists contributed existing works, some created artwork specifically for this exhibit. This is the second show that I have curated called “Java Divas,“ the first, in 1999 at Grounds for Coffee in Tacoma, was more modest in scale. Themed shows can be trite, but the theme of coffee is one that can be expanded upon in both a serious and fun manner. It is my hope that the “Java Divas“, with more artists and different artwork, will continue to explore the lure of coffee.

Diane Kurzyna

Olympia, WA 2006