Arch Made of Losing Tim Horton’s Cups

on Display in Bright’s Grove, Ontario



Photo 1: work in progress

Photo 2: The Full Arch in Blyth

Artists' Statement


 From the Clinton News-Record:


         A nine-foot tall arch, constructed entirely of nearly 3000 losing cups from the 2004 Tim Horton’s “Roll up the Rim to Win” contest went on display May 2nd at The Gallery in the Grove in Bright’s Grove, Ontario. The arch, titled “L’ Arc des Perdants Anonymes” is the work of father-and-son team, John Palmer of Clinton, Ontario, and Matthew Palmer, of London.


          “My dad met me for coffee in early March this year,” related Matthew, “and said something like, ‘The Tim Horton Lottery is on again! We have to do our art project this year.”


          “That’s right,” added John. “I had mentioned the idea a year or two ago, and I was pretty excited about doing the project with Matthew. I really wanted to do a three-dimensional piece that celebrated the joy we all get from life when we take chances, even if we don’t win very often.”


          The arch was part of an exhibit of John’s photographic art, on display from May 2nd until May 23rd at The Gallery in the Grove. “It seemed like a good idea to get Matthew involved in this project,” said John. “I’ve been doing photographic art for only about six years, but he was in the art program at Beal, in London, before getting an honours degree from Trinity College at University of Toronto.”


          “When we started collecting cups for the project,” said Matthew, “we intended to build a giant pyramid. But then we thought we should do something more specific to celebrate the losers and the continual process of losing. That’s when we came up with the idea of building a triumphal arch.”


          Because Matthew and John live about an hour’s drive from each other, they weren’t always able to get together in person to work on the arch. “We did quite a bit of planning via e-mail,” said John. “And we talked on the phone some, too. Matthew’s work with computer graphics was invaluable in developing the concept. Also, we did manage to get together for major construction sessions over several weekends.”


          How did they collect so many losing cups? “It took a lot of nerve,” said John, “to go into a place and start plowing through the garbage, looking for losing cups from the Tim Horton’s contest. People looked at us pretty strangely. Fortunately our families and people at our workplaces helped out, making it possible for us to collect all these cups without prolonged embarrassment.”


          “We wanted to make sure we used only losing cups,” John added, “and so we checked all the cups several times. Also, my granddaughters took considerable delight in going through the cups, looking for winners. Surprisingly, we came up with over forty winning cups among those we collected. We didn’t win a truck or television, but one afternoon we took the winning cups out to Tim Horton’s and had a big splurge with all the children.”


          The arch was assembled with nearly ten pounds of glue. “We kept two glue guns going when worked together,” said Matthew. “It was really cold in early March, and we were working in Dad’s unheated garage, so we had to work quickly to stick the cups together before the glue set.” The structure was assembled in layers, which are held together using 3M hook-and-loop material. It is about six and a half feet wide, three feet deep, and over nine feet tall.


          The Gallery in the Grove is at 2700 Hamilton Road in Bright’s Grove. It is open between 2:30 and 8:00pm, Monday through Thursday, and from 1pm to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. L’Arc des Perdants Anonymes will also be on display beginning June 5th in the community art show at the Bainton Gallery in Blyth, Ontario.


          The exhibition in Gallery One, featuring John’s photographic art in addition to L’Arc des Perdants Anonymes, is titled “Patterns and Perspectives”.



Additional photo

the finished top of the arch

Artist resume' for John Palmer