Sketching and Sketch Outs in the Twin Cities

October 15, 2011

The past couple of years there has been an increase in opportunities for sketch out opportunities in the Twin Cities. These opportunities include a growing number of life-drawing opportunities, but also other sketch out possibilities. There are so many in fact, to keep track of, that it’s necessary for me to make this page to list contact information for these events so that you can come here and find the links to the information straight from the source.

I encourage you, whatever your drawing skill level, to attend as many of these events as possible so that you can work on those skills.

MCBA Visual Journal Collective
Meets every THIRD Monday of EACH MONTH, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Suzanne Hughes is the volunteer coordinator. (Until October 2013 I was and because of that you’ll   see reminder posts and after the fact write ups for the various meetings if you search this blog. The link is to its page on this blog. That’s where I have updated info about the group.) Suzanne still encourages sketching at each meeting, and she is working up projects and other great ideas for us all to do together. We also share our visual journal work. You also get a chance to meet other visual journal keepers and organize your own personal sketch outs.

Membership in this group is FREE to all adult journal keepers. (You do not even have to be a member of MCBA, but we know that after coming for a couple meetings you’ll love MCBA so much you’ll probably join.)

While membership is free sometimes we do projects that require a small fee for materials—this is typically $2-5. The fee covers the cost of paper, or photocopying, etc.

Besides the group’s regular meetings there are sketch outs during the year.

I started the Annual Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out while leading the Collective and many of the attendees still come from the Journal Collective’s membership. (We also have lots of Urbansketchers and MetroSketchers joining in as well.) I will continue to organize the Annual Minnesota State Fair Sketchout.

You can find related MCBA Visual Journal Collective posts by using the search engine of this blog.

There is a Facebook Group of this name as well as a Google group of this name and you can ask to join. You don’t have to live in the Twin Cities to join. We have members outside of the area who join the list to find out when might be a good time to visit us! (We’re that fun.)

You can reach Suzanne Hughes ( with questions. She’s been having some problems with her blog, so currently the best way to find out about group meetings is to join the Facebook and Google groups.

Life Drawing Co-ops

This link takes you to my page on this blog which lists the life drawing co-ops I’m aware of. If you know of additional information about such opportunities (groups open to the public), please send me details at and I will update the list.

Meets the FIRST SUNDAY of EACH MONTH, from noon to 3 p.m. (Location and times may vary depending on other factors.) This group is run by Liz Carlson and Tim Jennen. You can contact them at There is a Facebook group of the same name that you can join where you can learn of any updates to meeting locations or date changes. (The Yahoo list provides the same function for folks not on Facebook.) (New in the fall of 2013: See also the Sunday night Gesture Drawing Co-op Tim and Liz have started in partnership with the Art Academy on the Life Drawing Co-ops page.)

Bell Museum Sketch Night 
Meets the first Thursday of the month (September through May), from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bell Museum of Natural History. See my page link for information about the group and related links.

Dr. Sketchy’s
Meets the FOURTH SUNDAY of EACH MONTH, from 2 to 4 p.m. Life-drawing of burlesque models, roller derby girls, belly dancers—varies; models may be clothed or undressed. $10.

Altered Aesthetics
This local group sponsors a monthly life-drawing session of costumed models as well as other sketch out events upon ocassion. See their website for details.

If you know of additional sketch out and drawing from life groups that are open to the public please send me a note at and I’ll update the list.

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