In Press, Public programs

KANSAS CITY, MO, SEPTEMBER 14, 2023: Close your eyes and picture a cup. Imagine a spectrum of ultra-functionality on one end, and absurdity on the other. Organized by artist Casey Whittier, Project Cup teams up with artist Andrew Castañeda to lead a the first workshop of five in a new series starting October 14, 1-3 PM at Charlotte Street. Through December 2023, artists of multiple disciplines including ceramics, poetry, and dance will lead a fearless exploration beyond conventional ideas of the “cup”. 

Often cups fall on the functional end of the spectrum. They hold liquids, are comfortable to grasp, and keep our beverages hot or cold. In A Community Effort to Re-Investigate the Cup, Castañeda invites you to slide down the scale toward absurdity, expanding the notions of the cup, and making exciting discoveries along the way.

Participants will work from the perspective of researchers, breaking down cups into their essential components and assembling them into original works of art. Like building characters in a video game, attendees will reconstruct their cups using ceramics, found objects, and adhesive materials (glue, string, tape, but not screws), expanding the ceramic process beyond the “final” glaze firing. The resulting cups may serve as functional vessels, or they may become prototypes for ongoing exploration.

Casteñeda, along with other artists involved in Project Cup, hope to build upon Kansas City’s rich ceramic history and redefine how we think about cups, expanding the future of the ceramic medium.

Whittier states, “Project Cup is a wild and fun interdisciplinary workshop where we will re-mix and re-imagine the cup as sculptural found-objects forms that are sure to delight and challenge.” She continues, “Play is encouraged. Laughter required.”

Project Cup will take place in the Charlotte Street Kemper Library and will be FREE and open to the public. Collaboration and play are highly encouraged. No prior experience necessary. (RSVP encouraged

If you are interested in donating usable material such as rubber bands, pipe cleaners, and quick epoxy glue for the workshop, please refer to the full list of materials here. Visitors have until October 11 to drop-off donations at the Charlotte Street (3333 Wyoming St). For questions, email here.

Workshop Schedule:

October 14 from 1:00-3:00 PM
November 4 from 4:00-6:00 PM
November 18 from 4:00-6:00 PM
December 2 from 4:00-6:00 PM
December 9 from 4:00-6:00 PM

There will be a documentation station with T. Maxwell Wagner (@tmaxwellwagner) as part of this event. Participants are encouraged to have their work photographed and take the object home.

To schedule an interview or for other press inquiries, contact Hope-Lian Vinson, Charlotte Street Marketing + Communications Manager, at [email protected].


Project Cup is a series organized by Casey Whittier in partnership with Charlotte Street, and is supported by the ArtsKC Inspiration Grant, Studio Potter, Kansas City Art Institute, and Artaxis. Project Cup will culminate in a permanent Cup Library for the William T. Kemper Library at Charlotte Street. (Instagram: @projectcup_csf)


Andrew Castañeda completed a BFA in Ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute, MFA in Ceramics at Penn State, and went on to become the 2021-22 Harvard Ceramics Artist in Residence. Currently, Andrew is the creative director of Denver-based non-profit La Serra Collective, as well as a product photographer at Showlabs (ecommerce photography studio).  

Andrew has worked as a production potter across the US (Los Angeles CA, Kansas City MO, State College PA, Denver CO). Each production studio has its own central focus. Functional ceramic can take many different forms—customizing design, form, surface, texture, and adhesion to any specific use. (Instagram: @andrew.r.casteneda)


Charlotte Street centers Kansas City’s most forward-thinking visual artists, writers, and performers—acting as the primary incubator, provocateur, and connector for the region’s contemporary arts community, and its leading advocate on the national stage. Since 1997, Charlotte Street has distributed over $2 million in awards and grants to artists and their innovative projects, and connected individual artists to each other and to the greater Kansas City community. For more information about Charlotte Street, its awards, programs, and initiatives, visit


View press release as PDF HERE.

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