The cup as a symbolian_9/5

By Gus Bode

Longbranch launches a new art exhibit, featuring Cupliquids

The gathering was not just for coffee, but it kept the concept of cups and liquids still freshly brewing within the mind.

About 25 people gathered around Longbranch Friday to take a close look at a new art exhibit featuring Cupliquids by Najjjar Abdul-Musawwir.


Abdul-Musawwir is a professor of art and design at SIUC. He is well known for a painting depicting a lynching, as another form of telling history. The new exhibit can be taken a little lighter.

The exhibit displayed 17 works of art that will be displayed through Oct. 6. Prices range from $50 to$800. Each piece of art is different, yet slightly similar. Each painting shows a cup, but the cups vary in size, shape and number.

The liquid movement, stillness and improvisation in this body of work are the result of what was and is improvisational creativity. We see cups as continuation. In this work, the cup and content have been fused together by space, according to a statement made by Najjar on his work.

Each painting is slightly similar. Each is represented with a cupliquid that varies in every way possible, yet the way the cup is represented is similar. There is never any depth shown inside the cup. Each cupliquid is painted with white paint underneath the cup. Reds, greens, yellows, blues, oranges, magentas, browns and purples are selected carefully and splattered across each painting.

Longbranch will feature a new art exhibit every six weeks. Music and food will be provided during each opening night.

It is common for artists to sell at least a quarter of their pieces throughout the exhibition, said employee Dan Vanzant.

It is uncommon for the artwork to relate to the coffeehouse. The variety of images, allow for the cup to be seen as the subject matter created in a deeply thought out visual.


Reporter Jackie Keane can be reached at [email protected]