Artists display works at Cups

Published 12:15 pm Wednesday, November 18, 2015

By Molly Randles

It’s often hard to break into the local art scene and become a recognized and profitable artist, but photographer Connor Heitzmann found his ticket at a local coffee shop.

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Heitzmann, a journalism student at the University of Mississippi, works at Cups, an espresso cafe, as a barista, and his photographs hang in the shop. Cups has become known for displaying a variety of original artwork, including photography, paintings and sculptures.

“I have had my art up in Cups for about eight months now,” he said. “It is such a big blessing for me to be able to share the wall space with local artists, such as Raina Hampton and Morgan Fyfe.”

Heitzmann said local owners Lee and Teri Bowie also gave him the barista job that helps pay for school and expenses.

“It gives me the opportunity to meet new faces in town and build strong connections,” he said. “Something I believe will help me in the long run.”

Cups was created by Janice and Dennis Cameron in Jackson in 1993. The store is now in 11 other Mississippi locations.

“We display local artists at no commission,” said Janice Cameron. “We give back to local charities and community events. We look for artists to work as baristas while they are pursuing music, media or visual arts careers.”

Raina Hampton, a professional artist for eight years, is another Oxford artist whose work is displayed at the coffee shop.

Hampton said her favorite things to paint include birds, cotton fields and landscapes. She adds texture to paintings by hand with a sculpting knife.

Hampton said she is grateful to Cups because store owners allow her to display her passions about life through art.