Later this week, some 10,000 coffee enthusiasts – professionals and consumers – will flock to New York for the 2015 New York Coffee Festival. The event will feature specialty coffee exhibits, tastings, and demonstrations from September 25-27 inside the 69th Regiment Armory in the Gramercy Park area of Manhattan. More importantly, however, this year’s event will also feature one of our own from the New Orleans coffee community.
Jonathan Lopez is a graphic and web designer with a particular interest in coffee. His work can be found within Mojo Coffee House on Freret, where he designed murals for the interior walls. Jonathan also created the promotional materials for the recent New Orleans Barista Social Club Summer Barista Bash. His latest work is a coffee-inspired Quetzal bird, which was accepted to be displayed during the New York Coffee Festival as part of its Coffee Art Project.
“My artwork is a modern approach to illustration that incorporates my love for calligraphy. Demian, owner of Mojo Coffee House, approached me and suggested that I try merging two of my talents, calligraphy and illustration, to come up with a unique take on the Quetzal. In Mayan tradition, the Quetzal bird is a symbol for freedom, peace, and wealth. We wanted the Quetzal to be the forefront of this piece since coffee in and of itself tends to bring a sense of peace to those who make it a part of their daily routine.”
The Coffee Art Project is a high profile art competition held in conjunction with the New York Coffee Festival. Artists from around the country were selected based on their ability to connect their work to the coffee experience, regardless of medium. The 30-40 artworks selected for the project will be on display this Friday through Sunday, when a winner will be selected. Proceeds from the project will go toward clean water efforts in coffee-producing communities.
The project’s winner will take home $1,500, but for Jonathan, having his work displayed at the Coffee Art Project is its own reward.
“It is a chance for me to share with the world a culmination of all things that I hold very dearly to my heart; Calligraphy, Illustration, Design, and Coffee. Some of those concepts might not necessarily strike a chord with many, yet I’m at ease knowing that our love for coffee can still unite the masses.”
Jonathan says he’s long felt a connection to coffee. He recalls as a boy sneaking sips of his father’s coffee when he wasn’t looking. More recently, Jonathan has become increasingly involved with the coffee community in New Orleans, and has been a strong supporter of our efforts to build community and promote the craft.
“Coffee has always been a big part of my life, but only recently with the strong presence of the New Orleans Barista Social Club, has it allowed me to become a part of a very passionate accepting community.”
We wish Jonathan the very best in the Coffee Art Project and look forward to his continued involvement with the New Orleans Barista Social Club.