Leap Coffee Roasters Artist Blend Reception
Leap Coffee Roasters announces its collaboration with poet and visual artist Angie LaPaglia to create the company’s 2020 Artist Series Blend coffee, “Shameless,” set to launch February 1. As in years past, the Leap team has worked together with LaPaglia to create this signature blend that speaks to her work, and a percentage of its sales will benefit the artist.
“When we started Leap four years ago, one of the things we wanted to do was find a creative way to support local art,” says Kari Hirst Starkey, co-owner of Leap. Together with her husband and co-owner Eric Starkey, they created the Leap Artist Series Blend program. Every year they have supported artists in a range of disciplines, from singer/songwriters, to visual artists, to this year, a poet.
According to Eric, “Shameless” is a light-to-medium roast coffee blend that is robust without being bitter, with notes of cocoa, golden raisin, and nutmeg, and a smooth finish. It’s comprised of certified organic beans from Brazil, Guatemala, and Sumatra. The Sumatra coffee co-op is women-owned, which was an imperative for LaPaglia.
“The shape of my life is the result of my gender, and my art is very much about the condition of being a woman,” she says. “So it was important to me that this coffee support women.”
Angie says that the name “Shameless” is derived from her bold approach to poetry. Because of her raw, visceral style she’s been called “the poet who’s not afraid to feel.” Her visual presentations of original poems are known for being powerful and moving, and she says she wanted a coffee that was as bold as her art. “Shameless is not subtle. It very much knows who it is.”
LaPaglia and the Leap team will celebrate the coffee’s debut with a launch party and art opening Saturday, February 1, from 10 am – 1 pm at the Leap retail warehouse, 44 NE 51st Street in Oklahoma City. The event will include music by Norman-based singer/songwriter Lacy Saunders, poetry performances by LaPaglia, and a unique display of some of her most recognized poems.
In addition to furthering her own practice, Angie has plans to leverage her year-long residency to lift up Oklahoma women. She will curate two exhibitions in 2020, one including emerging female artists as young as age 14. She is also collaborating with the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition to bring awareness to women’s issues in the state.
Leap’s Artist Series Blend is a collaborative approach to producing custom coffee blends, with a percentage of sales benefiting a local artist directly. A new artist is chosen each year to produce a signature blend in collaboration with the roasters. Previous local artists with coffee blends include the musical duo “Miss Brown to You” and visual artists Romy Owens, Eyakem Gulilat, and Amanda Zoey Weathers. All Artist Series Blend coffees are available for purchase online at leapcoffeeroasters.net, at select Sprouts and Homeland locations, and at the Leap warehouse, 44 NE 51st Street in Oklahoma City.