Sketchers’ group marks tenth anniversary with crawl

By Matthew Earth

The tenth anniversary of an international sketchers’ group was celebrated in Leicester at the weekend when about 40 people gathered to capture the local scenery.

The Leicester branch of Urban Sketchers, a worldwide group of sketch enthusiasts, met in the city’s cultural quarter as part of its ‘Let’s Draw’ event, which saw participants spread throughout the city as they compiled their images.

Alex Douglas, who was taking part in the sketch crawl, has been attending Urban Sketchers events for more than a year and a half and said the events are open to everyone, regardless of their ability.

“The sketch crawls are for people of any age, no matter how good they are. We try to advertise to Leicester’s student population as well,” Mr Douglas said.

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Urban Sketchers was formed in 2007, when Seattle-based journalist Gabriel Campanario created a blog encouraging the public to share their sketches of the towns and cities in which they live.

The non-profit organisation consists entirely of volunteers, and states its mission is to “raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of on-location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world.”

The ten-year anniversary is being celebrated internationally with events such as classes and a 24-hour sketch walk.

Saturday’s Leicester meet-up began at 10.30am outside the Curve Theatre, and participants met for breaks in venues such as the Cosy Club and the Tourist Square.

A group photo of the sketchers was taken outside the Curve at midday.

The event ran until 4pm, when the sketch enthusiasts gathered at the Exchange bar, in Rutland Street, for drinks and to share their work for the day.

Mr Douglas, who composed a sketch of the Athena theatre, said the Leicester Urban Sketchers branch aims to meet up every two weeks.

“Most of the time we do a sketch crawl, where we spend a few hours sketching. We will draw anything we see,” he said.

Participants shared their work after the event on the branch’s Facebook page, which consists of more than 100 members.

Information on the group’s future events and meet-ups, as well as previous sketches made by participants, can be found by searching ‘Urban Sketchers Leicester’ on Facebook.

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