Calling All Sketch Artists
new group focuses on local artists, locations
It’s no secret the people of Eau Claire are all about promoting each other right now, highlighting local people and places.
Susie Santee, an Eau Clairian herself, is a fan of that mindset, but she wants to push it one step further and focus on local sketch artists.
Santee came up with Draw Eau Claire, a volunteer group dedicated to promoting artists in the city and the Chippewa Valley who practice on-location sketching and local drawings.
“Just going out to Phoenix Park, for example, there are so many things artists or anybody could draw,” Santee said. “Because we don’t have an art center right now, I thought it was something we can do to share our work and support one another.”
Draw Eau Claire is an online space where people can share their work and learn from others in their community. Santee also publishes blog posts of local artwork.
She also plans sketch-outs at various locations. These gatherings basically bring the group to one space to draw at a park, business, restaurant, or wherever suits their fancy. Professional artists and hobbyists are encouraged to show up with just paper, drawing tools, and clips to hold down pages if they are outside.
“We tell the stories of places we live and things we do, but we can also promote the things our city has,” Santee said. “If we sketch at a local business and then publish blog posts of that artwork, we will also promote that business.”
The goal is to bring artists together, celebrate their community, and share Eau Claire with more people.
Right now Santee is focused on getting the group’s name out there, and getting more active participation. But eventually, she hopes the whole city is on board.
“Big-picture thinking, I would love to see this where we could have an annual sketch-out in the summer,” Santee said. “People would travel here, stay here for a weekend, go downtown and just sketch, maybe have workshops.”