MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Drink and Draw, an innovative evening out that offers artists a chance to practice sketching a professional model (or two) while socializing, has gained a steady following along Westchester’s Long Island Sound shore area, thanks to the New Rochelle Arts Collective.
“'Drink and Draw; helps me out in more ways than one,” said artist David Fragoso of New Rochelle, who frequents the events. “It’s not just having a live model to draw; there’s also a sense of building a community, with different artists and art lovers getting together for one night. And there’s something special in seeing other artists work in real time next to you that helps me think of new ways to approach my own art.”
The next "Drink and Draw" event starts at 6:30 p.m. on March 31st, at MADE: My Art & Design Experience, 118 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck. It will feature a “Mermaid Parade” theme, with props and costumes. Models at Drink & Draw events are sometimes unclothed. Participants must be 18 to enter and 21 to drink.
"Drink and Draw grew out of our desire to offer inclusive arts events geared towards young adults and creatives in Westchester but open to all,” said David Krinick, co-founder of the Arts Collective, a group of creative residents in the New Rochelle area. “We all grew up in the area and, after coming back from college, found ourselves going into Manhattan and Brooklyn to seek out culture and communities that interested us. After a while, we decided to fill that void here.”
Formed in May 2015, the group began hosting concerts, gallery shows and happenings with much positive feedback.
“Drink and Draw has emerged as our signature event,” Krinick said. “We love being able to curate a formal life drawing experience, in a social setting, where artists get to practice their craft and network.”
The Arts Collective sets its Drink and Draw nights apart from other events of the same type by choosing themes for each installment. It is also a nomadic event, occasionally moving to different venues. The mermaid-themed event on March 31 will be followed by one with a “Mad Tea Party” theme on May 6 at ArtsWestchester, 31 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains. Past themes included Star Wars and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
An alternative to the bar scene, the event offers a chance for participants to relax and mingle. It also offers a judgment-free atmosphere for serious art students to work without the dreaded criticism that can be a stressful component of art school. Those who are at the beginning stages of drawing are welcomed as well.
“Drink and Draw has an easy-going atmosphere,” said Vanessa Carrasco of Mamaroneck, a self-proclaimed “doodler” who attends regularly. “People of all different artistic backgrounds, which includes less-trained artists like me, can feel comfortable there.”
Rayna Sassano, a professional artist and illustrator from West Harrison who is also a regular at Drink and Draw, praised the format of the sessions.
“It is a structured event, with warmup sketches of models clothed and unclothed, depending on the theme, with small
breaks along the way,” Sassano said. “That encourages people to bring their best efforts and gives them a chance to relax, socialize and get a drink.”
To find out more about upcoming events, visit the New Rochelle Arts Collective’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/grownewro/