DuCret School of Art in Plainfield runs an open studio on tuesday evenings from 6-9pm.
During the school year I teach drawing and painting from the model from 9am-noon and 1-4pm. I have an open door policy with professional artist friends of mine to drop in when they want to on tuesdays to draw and paint. For my friends the access to a free model was all the incentive they needed, 6 hours of work from life...what more could you want. The benefit for the students is to be able to look over the shoulders of these talented, seasoned professionals and see their work develop from start to finish.
The first artist to take up the offer was Dorian Vallejo, an incredible artist with an enormous enthusiasm for working from life. A friend of Dorian's, Richard Scarpa, a talented portrait painter, became a regular soon after.
Garin Baker, a great painter, draftsman and muralist, began dropping in on tuesday. While all the artists who drop in are there to work from life they give freely of their knowledge and training to the students.
While cleaning our brushes after a tuesday afternoon session we saw a DuCret student Dwayne Watson setting up a pose with a friend who volunteered to model for him in between classes. Dorian and I stopped washing our brushes and joined Dwayne and a couple of other students including Tomas Hurtado to work from the pose they set up for the next 2 hours. What's better than 6 hours of working from life? Answer: 8 hours of working from life.
The open studio grew from those early sessions. It has evolved into an open studio session with a costumed model accompanied by live music from a talented meet-up group. The school has the right feel for art, old easels, taborets, the smell of paint and turpentine, it's not antiseptic in the way some other "art centers" can be. If you are in the area join us on tuesday, contact the school for info.
Here's the website: www.ducret.edu
The "Open Studio" is a pay as you go per session. $15 for visitors, $10 for students of the school.