NEOWISE photo collaboration by David Solow & Kristy Maney Herron + We're In This Together Autumn Menu Precursor

Wonder is a word we use to refer to the spirit of what we're after in serving y'all. This spring in the chaos of covid-19 our communications specialist and Little Waves Coffee wholesale manager, Alyssa Noble, added the word vibrance to what we've been keeping on our minds through the spring and summer. This photograph came out of the desire to share both. 

Composite Photo by David Solow + Kristy Maney Herron

Composite Photo by David Solow + Kristy Maney Herron

We're sharing it with you now to set the stage for the wrapping up of our current wonder menu, and to launch our coming menu. 

It's going to be called "We're in This Together" and be a menu in which each item will be made via collaboration.

To start we wanted to share a little wonder with you -- a collaboration from two folks who are deep in our hearts -- David Solow and Kristy Maney Herron

I first started working with David Solow art + design starting in 2001 when I first produced elements of David's art installations and starting in 2011, David has worked closely with us to design each of our retail shops, Cocoa Cinnamon, and create many of our images.

Kristy is a long time friend of ours from the Qualla Boundary. Leon first met Kristy around 2004 and included her photography in exhibitions he curated for LIFT Contemporary, in Cherokee. 

We connected Kristy and David again for them to share two images, one of our OND shop and the other Kristy's shot of NEOWISE for David to create a composite of them is so special to us. They are taken by these two extremely talented people who both live in our hearts. The images are taken from two locations on Earth that also resonate inside of us, making this a magical image for us. Here are the final composites followed by the images used to make them and a bit from Kristy and David on their images in the collaboration.

Let this mark putting attention to the vibrant as we all try to keep each other safe and cope with the challenges we are all facing.

We wish you some moments of comfort, wonder, and vibrance. 


Leon Grodski de Barrera


Words on the photograph from the artists Kristy Maney Herron & David Solow art + design:


Kristy M. Herron

"My husband, Mark is an avid astrophotographer. He always tells me about interesting things that are going to be happening in the upcoming months or weeks that would be interesting to shoot. So he had told me about the comet a few months ago and reminded me a few days before we went out. 
I really like to shoot the night sky whether its a big event or just a regular clear sky. So we went out on my birthday, hoping the clouds would part enough to get a few shots. I like to experiment with different settings, views & lenses so I have a bunch of different images of the comet. He on the other hand is more technical and likes to capture time-lapses. 
We went up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and went out Heintooga Ridge Road. We needed a good view of the comet without any obstruction of trees and such so we pulled off at Mile High Overlook and waited for the sky to clear up and get dark.
Luckily the winds blew some of the clouds out and we were able to get some good shots of the comet! 
The comet image used in the composite photo is one taken with my Canon EOS-RP and a 50mm lens iso1250 f/1.4 at 4 seconds." -- Kristy Maney Herron

David Solow art + design

"Comets are magical. They remind us to look up and appreciate the immensity of matter and energy moving through us and around us. Comets inspire gratitude, engender surprise, and reveal the habitual as an illusion. They unconceal the magic that is around us and that is us and is always with us.

When Leon asked me to get a photograph of the Neowise comet above Cocoa Cinnamon, I was unable to see the comet. There was too much light from our city. So, I wrote to Leon and suggested a composite of two photos: one of Cocoa Cinnamon, the other taken out in the country where the comet was clearly visible. Unbeknownst to me, Leon had already seen a beautiful photo of the comet that the artist, Kristy Maney, had taken from a mountain top in Cherokee, where Kristy is from, where Areli is from, where she and Leon met at the coffee shop he co-owned there, where Kristy and I were in the same art exhibition put on by Leon 15 years ago. Kristy’s photo was a gift dropped into our hands that brought together two important places in the histories of Areli and Leon and Kristy and me. Kristy’s and my photographs brought together into one is the image you see.

What is that energy that binds and flows through all matter? Love. The love of place and light in Kristy’s photograph. The love between Leon and Areli. The love among friends. The love of work. Leon and I met through work 19 years ago. The night I shot the shop for these images was the first time I was able to be with Leon in person in over five months. Even though we were many feet apart and wearing masks, I could see the smile in his eyes and hear his voice vibrating through air, unmitigated by digital translation. It was a gift." -- David Solow