nickmoen_thebrightangle_processpullFounder of The Bright Angle and co-organizer of The Democratic Cup, Nick Moen embarked on his mission to create the design space a few years back. Moen states, “My intention is to create a business that bridges the gap between design and craft; that presents an avenue for studio artists to introduce their work to the design marketplace.”The design production studio space, located in the Asheville Area Arts Council’s Refinery Creator Space at 207 Coxe Ave., serves to promote the true essence of hand-crafted materials. Visit The Bright Angle website here.

The Democratic Cup is the Bright Angle’s first design project since its opening this summer. Moen has employed five full-time people and several part-timers to carry out the project. The project’s concept coincides with the current presidential election and aims to engage individuals in a dialogue over important current issues and events. Nick Moen collaborated with Ayumi Horie, a ceramic artist out of Portland, Maine; he states, “Potters understand the power of the mug as a tool for empathy and Ayumi decided to create a project where we could create an awareness of progressive issues to navigate a tumultuous political landscape.”

Horie gathered 26 of some of the best ceramic artists and illustrators to collaborate on the cups. Images of bell hooks, Sojourner Truth, gay, lesbian, and straight couples, and portraits of the victims of the Black Lives Matter movement are just a few examples of the illustrations on the cups.

The third batch of cups will be available the last week of October, and the artists will continue production of the mugs through December. You can find other cup design options and pricing here.

img_7802Donations from this project will go to Progressive Nonprofit Organizations. The reason for the ambiguity is due to the fact that The Democratic Cup will determine what specific organizations to allocate donations by having customers vote on the issues they care the most about. Based on the results of the polls, The Democratic Cup will donate funds to organization that work to address these issues.

The Bright Angle’s first design project falls in line with the current presidential election – hence its name “The Democratic Cup.” Upon asking founder Moen about whether future projects by The Bright Angle would coincide with other prominent cultural events, he responded by saying, “We live in a disposable culture and the Bright Angle aims to design and produce things of substance that are more than just more useless objects. We will continue to balance philanthropic projects while working on pushing the bounds of what the studio can do. We also plan on working with other studio artists on realizing their designs.”