Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dr. Sketchy will see you now

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 11:01 AM

I love life drawing. But I don’t like the self-consciousness that often accompanies it. Even if a life drawing group welcomes everyone, a pro may have a hard time quietly slinking in and out, and newbies often feel inept. This is likely no fault of the group itself; it’s human nature — and not just human nature, but human nature in the presence of a nekkid person.

But what if you were to add levity, costumes and a little beer to the mix? Would that help? I don’t know, but I’m going to find out on Feb. 9, when Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School makes its local debut at Story Slam! Charlotte.

All photos are courtesy of Bob Nulf/Dr. Sketchy's
  • All photos are courtesy of Bob Nulf/Dr. Sketchy's

Dr. Sketchy’s was founded in 2005 by New York illustrator Molly Crabapple. Since then, her concept (“where cabaret meets art school”) has been picked up by artists, hobbyists, and whateverists in 100 cities on five continents. The atmosphere is festive, but the opportunity exists to do some serious drawing.

“Each month will have a different theme,” says Dr. Sketchy Charlotte coordinator Bob Nulf, who is also a decorative finish artisan and Story Slam facilities manager. As for models, he says, “We're looking for dancers, cabaret performers, contortionists, burlesque queens, costumed folk with a special talent and perhaps a full gallery of tattoos.”

Dr. Sketchy’s is just one aspect of Story Slam! Charlotte’s commitment to the visual arts. The center, which opened last year, engages audiences in myriad forms of storytelling and narrative as practiced by writers, playwrights, poets, musicians and artists. Crabapple describes Dr. Sketchy’s, with its burlesque models, staged vignettes, goofy contests and ample supply of alcohol, as a “literary device,” making it an ideal project for this venue.

So here are the details: Dr. Sketchy’s takes place the second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m.-10 p.m. at Story Slam! Charlotte, 1401 Central Avenue. Admission is $10. Seating is first-come, first-served; up to 40 people can be accommodated. You must be 18 or older to participate. BYO supplies; there are no tables, but you can bring your own as long as it’s very small. The February 9 session will feature model Greta Zandstra and a Mardi Gras theme, so wear your beads. Any other questions? Call Bob Nulf, 704-763-8001.

— Barbara Schreiber

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