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Tuesday, April 5 • 1:15pm - 3:00pm
Showing the world one drawing at a time: The Urban Sketching Project

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Urban Sketching is a movement created in 2007 by Seattle journalist and illustrator, Gabrile Campanario. Although similar to plein air painting (to paint outdoors), a term which was made most well-known by the French Impressionists during the 19th century. Urban Sketching looks at the ideas of visual storytelling in a virtual environment, and the educational value of on-location drawing. This movement encourages drawing spaces and places on location, rather than drawing from photographs. Urban Sketching brings together an international group of people who “Show their world one drawing at a time”. The goal is simple-sketch what you see, in or outdoors, and share online. You don’t need to be an artist, expert or someone who draws all the time.

The Urban Sketching project encouraged our campuses to think about life in new ways during a stressful time. During the pandemic, people needed activities, like urban sketching, to help them connect, share, and escape their everyday lives. Sketching scenes from daily life elevated seemingly mundane moments, allowing us to see our own world from a different perspective. Urban sketching relieves stress, hones observational and analytical skills, and forces us to take a moment to stop and “draw the roses.” But also, urban sketching is similar to the scholarly research process. Both rely on observation, analysis, storytelling, and contributing to community knowledge and, both processes use a curated set of data and observations to tell a story that will likely turn into something more.

This workshop will last 90 minutes and start with a 15-minute presentation addressing the Rutgers Urban Sketching project including an assignment for student workers, a staff workshop, virtual drawing sessions, campus drawing sessions, highlighting collections, a research guide, an assessment plan, and more. Following the presentation participants will be led through a series of warm up drawing exercises, timed sketches, and weather permitting there will also be a short excursion outside the conference center to sketch the local landscape. No experience necessary and everyone is invited to participate, engage, and share their sketches if they choose. Individuals are invited to bring any medium they prefer to use when sketching, as well, a variety of paper, pens, pencils, and markers will be available for use at no cost.


Megan Lotts

Art Librarian, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Tuesday April 5, 2022 1:15pm - 3:00pm CDT
Hyatt Regency Chicago Acapulco Room