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Affordable Housing Cup

Affordable Housing Cup

Affordable Housing Cup


Affordable Housing Cup
One of four cups made in collaboration with Northern Clay Center for a Minnesota- based project called Land of 10,000 Stories. Read more about the project here and the blog post here. Land of 10,000 Stories cups like this one are in inventory and do not need to be made, so they will ship asap.

Organizers: Northern Clay Center and Ursula Hargens
Ambassador of Conversation: Bill Gossman
Image: Julie Van Grol
Cup Design: Peter Jadoonath

Porcelain 4" x 3 3/4" x 5" and 13 fl oz
For the longevity of your decal, please avoid the dishwasher.
Pictured is the front and back of one cup.

Many small towns across Minnesota and nationally are in a time of transition because of aging populations. Finding ways to provide affordable housing is critical in making these communities attractive to a new generation. Decisions in housing impact a town’s racial, socio-economic and political diversity as well as the economic health of many small towns and rural communities.

Bill Gossman
I enjoyed my experience as a host for our discussion in New London, Minnesota. All who took part in our group thought it was a good exercise in community conversation. The dominant people had a tendency to say a lot more than the quieter types, but I was striving to give everyone a chance to have their opinions and ideas heard. I invited people with differing outlooks on life and politics and different income levels. Everyone who took part were respectful of each other, and at the end of our time together, most of us agreed that it would be worth repeating. I said that I hoped one of them would take the initiative to lead the next event.

Julie Van Grol
It was great hearing about New London, MN conversation from Bill Gossman. It was both surprising
and disheartening to hear that the same problems of gentrification that I see in Minneapolis was also happening in his town. I hope that folks take time to stop and think about what it would mean to make housing and property more accessible to folks of different backgrounds, and how it could enrich their community.

Peter Jadoonath
Technically speaking, I'm pretty happy with how the illustration on the “Affordable Housing Cup” responds to the line, shape, and taper of the form. When I was first asked to be part of this collaboration, I was overwhelmed with the technical aspect of designing a pot that would become a mold and later illustrated upon. Making pots in my studio is such a private act that involving other artists into my process was intimidating, and I didn’t immediately grasp the journey that the cups would take. Six months later when I finally saw a final product as well as images of the pots in action, the whole process really hit me. The images of groups and pairs of strangers sharing sentiment and exploring big ideas made me feel the weight. I believe there are many ways to interpret these images. We all have life experiences to share. Whether it’s affordable housing, the recession, or gentrification. My hope is that through the life of the Democratic Cups, empathy is a primary sentiment that initiates conversations.

Ursula Hargens
Traveling around Minnesota to host conversations for The Democratic Cup: Land of 10,000 Stories was encouraging. Participants were remarkably open and honest as they entered into challenging discussions with strangers. While people often disagreed, they were respectful, thoughtful, and knowledgeable about their local communities. They spoke in detail about the issues and how they were affected as individuals and community members. Listening, as people spoke from the heart, gave me hope.