Participants create artwork based on planets at the 2013 Draw-a-Thon.
Press Street’s 2014 Draw-a-thon
kicks off Saturday at Michalopoulos Studios
(527 Elysian Fields Ave.). The 24hour event is free and all art supplies are provided.
“[DrawAThon] is not a spectator sport, it is participatory,” says organizer Susan Gisleson. “The sole purpose of the event is to bring people together to make a mark, to get lost in the process of creation.”
This year’s theme is “Menagerie,” and it highlights the eclectic nature of Draw-a-thon. “A collection of things,” Gisleson says. “Each artist interprets that differently.” Draw-a-thon workshops include “You Break the Cage by Walking” and “Beast in the Jungle.” Draw-a-thon collaborated with Community Print Shop and Big Class, an afterschool writing program on St. Claude Avenue, for the event. Students were asked to write descriptions of “undrawable creatures” and participants with be asked to draw them on Saturday.
Draw-a-thon begins at 6:30 a.m. Saturday and there are many scheduled artist-led challenges, presentations and music around the clock. From 8 a.m. until noon Saturday, there are workshops including Angela Driscoll’s “Draw a Picnic, Draw a Quilt” and “Air. Land. Sea. Mobiles Through the Ages.” There is “Create a Creature” with Chris Deris from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and silkscreening with Ben Fox McCord between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Other highlights include costume-making, a robot parade, figure drawing, a still-life scavenger hunt, Draw-a-tron 3000 and more.
Draw-a-thon is the collaborative effort between Press Street, an organization promoting art and literature, and more than 20 artists and arts educators. The event is not a fundraiser and it is open to anyone.
The event will “make an adult feel like a child again and make a child feel like master of his universe,” Gisleson says. “All through the magic of a piece of wood filled with graphite and clay.”
The event was originally scheduled at the Marigny Opera House, but organizers relocated to Michalopoulos Studio over concerns about permits. The City Of New Orleans temporarily ordered the Marigny Opera House closed before the start of the New Orleans Fringe Festival