Thursday, September 1, 2016

Places to draw from a model in the Tampa Bay Area
Drawing Artists Together
By Rebecca Skelton

The Tampa Bay area has become a magnet for artists in the past few years. We will never be a NYC or even a San Francisco, but artists have been relocating to our neighborhood in increasing numbers lately. A number of reasons come to mind: Cost of living compared to the major art markets, artist friendly policies in several of our cities, the number of art-oriented museums, and the explosion in mural projects.

While these and other reasons are likely, there is another artist attractor: We are drawn together to draw. We have a large number of places to practice life drawing. While drawing from a model has been de-emphasized as a discipline since the rise of abstraction followed more recently by conceptual & installation art, it never left our neighborhood. Maybe the interest in graphic novels/animation and illustration is fueling the growth, or more people desire to improve their skills for their own purposes, but this year we have had new people almost every week at the places I draw regularly.

Many of us at these sessions are professional artists while others draw just for fun. We range from teachers to beginners. Our groups include potters, jewelers, and glass artists as well as the usual and expected painting/drawing/sculpture crowd. We come from all walks of life — from doctors, lawyers, and engineers to the marginally-employed, from retirees to high school students. We all have our own approaches and goals, techniques and materials. The common themes seem to be the sheer pleasure of drawing, the challenge of the human form, and the camaraderie of drawing together. 

The Morean Arts Center in downtown St. Petersburg has been hosting drawing sessions on Saturdays for at least 35 years, certainly longer than any of our current group can remember. Eckerd College also has been offering their evening drawing sessions for at least that long also, but again, it goes back father that any of us can say. SoftWater Studio and Firehouse Cultural Center are welcome additions, and there are some seasonal groups such as the one Bloom Art Center offered this past Winter. Some groups draw clothed or costumed models as at Treasure Island and Art On First Gallery while most of them usually work from nudes.
I am offering this small article in the hope that anyone who wishes to draw from a model will be able to find a place and time that works for them. Please come join us!

Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL 33701, 727/822-7872,, 2 sessions, mostly figure, Saturdays, 9:30-noon, usually 20 minute poses, long pose 1st Saturday, 2 longer poses 3rd Saturday; 1-3:30 p.m.: 
1 long pose, $7 open to anyone, no obligation.
Art Center of Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941/365-2032. Saturdays 9:30a..m. to 12:30p.m., Figure, $8 members, $10 non-members, open to anyone no obligation.
Bloom Art Center, Sundays 3-5, $6. Upstairs 910 5th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. FB page Figure Drawing Open Studio Bloom Art Center, open to anyone, no obligation, mostly figure. 
Crealdé School of Art, 600 Saint Andrews Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792. 407-671-1886, Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Studio 1A, quick gestures, moving to longer poses. No pre-registration, but membership in Crealdé is encouraged. $10 per session. 
Old Hyde Park Art Center, 705 Swann Ave (between S. Boulevard and Bayshore), Tampa, 813/251-8201, or 813/251-3780. 1st (& 2nd often) Monday of month, 7:00 -9:30 p.m., $8, no obligation, but call so they can set up the room. One long pose, use back door. Occasional all day Saturday sessions.
Soft Water Studio,  515 22 St. S, (around  back), St. Petersburg, FL., 727-480-8754, open to anyone, no obligation, mostly figure. 6:30-9:00 p.m. Tuesdays, $7. Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 1st Ave NE, Ruskin, FL 33570, 813/641-8635, Drawing with discussion, mostly figure, open to anyone, no obligation. Tuesdays, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m., $10, Kerry Vosler Studios, 1906 North Armenia, Suite 210, Drawing is in Suite 207. Tampa, Florida 33607, Old Santaella Cigar Factory, 813-417-5867., $8.00  per person. Call to make sure they are running. One Long pose. Tuesdays 6:00 - 9:00 PM. A few easels available first come basis. 
Anna Maria Island Art League, 5312 Holmes Blvd, Holmes Beach, 34217,  2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 , $10, no preregistration, open to anyone. Call to make sure they are running.,, 941-778-2099.
Tampa Life Drawing at Old Hyde Park Art Center,  705 Swann Ave, Wed. 6:30-9:30 p.m., figure,  $8, $6 for students, open to anyone, no obligation, use back door. Occasional all day Saturday sessions.
Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave., S, St. Petersburg, CEC 309 Check for map. 7-9:30 p.m., Thursdays, $6, open to anyone, no obligation, mostly figure, long pose 1st Thursday.
The Sketch Group at the Hale Center, Dunedin meets Thursday at 6:00 to approximately 8:00pm. Portrait. $5 residents, $6 non-residents. No contact info.
Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 1st Ave NE, Ruskin, FL 33570, 813/641-8635,
Drawing with discussion, mostly figure, open to anyone, no obligation. Thursdays, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., $10, Art Center Manatee, 209 9th St. West, Bradenton, FL 34205, 941/746-2862.  figure, 6:30-9:30
Preregister,  p.m. Thurs., 6 consecutive sessions, call for rates, other classes. 
Maitland Arts Center, Studio 6, 231 W. Packwood Ave, Maitland, FL 32751, 407.539.2181. SKETCH CLUB Thursdays, Pose times vary. 6:45 – 9:15 p.m. 
Art & History Museums members $10, $15 for non-members.
Venice Art Center, 390 Nokomis Ave., S., Venice 34285, 941/485-7136. 1:00-3:30 p.m. & 7:00-9:30 p.m. Thursdays, figure and portrait. Was $3 members, $5 non-members, plus model fee.
City of Treasure Island, City Hall Auditorium, 120-108th Ave., Treasure Island, 727/547-4575. Fridays, 9:30 to noon, portrait, $2 members, $3 non-members, no preregistration, open to anyone no obligation.
Art on First Gallery. Fridays, 1-4, $10, some instruction. Clothed figure/portrait, one long pose, mainly for painting, bring your own easel and non toxic materials. Register at the gallery or call 727/249-3318. 550 1st Ave. N. St. Petersburg, next to St. Pete Brewing 
Dunedin Fine Arts Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin 34698, 727/298-3322. 1-4 pm Friday. Also Mondays  figure class, call DFAC for current fees, preregister, 6 week session 
4D Studios LLC, 2511 W Swann Ave. Suite 100, Tampa, Fl 33609, 813 873 9400, figure drawing session every 2nd Friday from 7-9:30. Might add more days. $15 or $10 with student/faculty id
The Southern Atelier 7226 21st Street East, Sarasota, FL 34203. (941) 753-7755. Figure model classes Saturdays, 9:30am - 4pm, morning sessions short pose and afternoons long pose. Open figure model sessions Friday eves 6:30-9:30pm.
Longboat Key Center for the Arts, 6860 Longboat Dr. So., Longboat Key, FL 34288-1036, 941/383-2345, Fridays, 11:00–2:00p.m., sketch class, $20. ends for season last Friday in May. Resumes in the Fall, call for specific dates
Crealdé School of Art, 600 Saint Andrews Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792. 407-671-1886,  Friday, 1:00–3:30 p.m. Studio 1A; one pose the entire session. No instruction. Needs five pre-registered students by two days prior to session’s start. $70 for eight weeks or $10 per session.