Sketching the Line, an international exhibition of 78 sketches drawn by 13 artists, features brief impressions of fellow commuters that document place, time and movement while simultaneously revealing a myriad of personal moments. Sketching the Line is part of PATTISON’s ongoing Art in Transit programme.
Sketches of Toronto, New York, Berlin, and UK commuters will appear from March 3 to April 13, 2014, on PATTISON Onestop’s digital screens in Toronto subway stations, the Edmonton LRT, and the Calgary Airport.
Additionally, Sketching the Line reveals a special series of drawings by Jan Beringer featuring the Alberta prairies as experienced during a daily car commute on a Calgary North digital billboard. (Billboard location – Highway 2, 3km south of Airdrie)
“Exhibiting sketches of commuters, by commuters, in the environment where they were made reminds us that we are not anonymous or invisible when we move through public space, and that the constant sea of humanity around us is actually made up of individuals. Sketching the Line also draws attention to the range of artistic practices that occur every day in well used public spaces like the Toronto’s subway system and Edmonton’s LRT,” said Sharon Switzer, National Arts Programmer and Curator, PATTISON Onestop. “This is the first exhibition of its kind on public screens, and I hope that commuters enjoy seeing themselves from the perspective of artists.”
The 13 artists included in Sketching the Line have been sketching, often on their daily commutes, some for many for years, keeping their drawing and observational skills sharp. They embrace the challenge that the ephemeral nature of their subjects impose, have an interest in the awkwardness of an environment created by forced proximity and shared need, and seem to share a respect for, and fascination with their fellow commuters.
Participants include architects, artists, art instructors, character designers, curators, and illustrators. Canadian contributors are Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera of Imaginism Studios, and multimedia artist Nicole Little, all based in Toronto. The billboard series, based on a daily car commute from Calgary to Drumheller, is by artist and exhibit designer, Jan Beringer, based in Alberta.
The New York City sketches are provided by Richard Alomar, founder of Urban Field Studio; Greg Betza, founding member of Studio 1482; Jason Das, President of Urban Sketchers; artist Sharon Frost; Stephen Gardner who has painted more than 200 book covers; Anna Rich with more than 20 children’s book illustrations to her credit.
The Berlin sketches are provided by Oona Leganovic, a founding member of Urban Sketchers Berlin; Irish artist and educator Conor Coady; architect and illustrator Rolf Schröter. The UK commuters are captured by Steve Wilkin, a Yorkshire-based illustrator and educator whose work has garnered international recognition.
Curated by Sharon Switzer.
Kei Acedera specializes in concept art, visual development and character design for feature films. She is best known for her work on Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and illustrations for Harper Collins Publishing and is presently working on upcoming films with Disney and DreamWorks. Kei’s favorite sources of inspiration are nature, music, travel, and experiencing different cultures. “As lifelong Torontonians, Bobby and I love the diversity of our city and there’s truly no better place to experience this diversity than on the subway. We started sketching on the subway in 2005 and kept doing it for years as a way to improve our drawing and observation skills. That is all these sketches are to us: our attempts to get better at doing something that we love dearly.” http://www.imaginismstudios.com
Richard Alomar is an assistant professor of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University and the founder of the Urban Field Studio in New York. He leads on-location sketch crawls and workshops for Urban Sketchers, New York City, and his designs are informed by his affinity to public transportation and walking. Richard Alomar holds a B.S. in agronomy from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University. He is a registered landscape architect in New York and a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. “I use sketchbooks to document place, time, movement and thoughts on the relationship between people and urban space.” http://nycsketch.blogspot.ca
Greg Betza is an illustrator, artist and a founding member of Studio 1482. His versatile approach to art has allowed him to create work for a diverse group of clients, NBC Sports, E&J Gallo Winery, and The Wall Street Journal to name a few. Greg is a graduate of Parsons School of Design, and has also had the honor of studying with the late David J. Passalacqua. Greg Betza has received numerous awards from institutions such as the Society of Illustrators of LA, Communication Arts, and American Illustration and was featured by Communication Arts Fresh Online as an emerging illustrator in 2010. “A few years ago, I spent a lot of time commuting by subway and I wanted to tell the story of the people who brave this daily ritual. People are the greatest subjects, always moving, always different. It was a challenge and a fulfilling artistic endeavor. The experience helped me grow as an artist as the constantly changing subjects created an evolution in my linear and graphic approach.” http://www.gregbetza.com
Bobby Chiu is the founder and Creative Director of Imaginism Studios. His first professional art job at the age of seventeen, was designing Disney, Warner Bros., and Star Wars toys. Bobby has since won a number of awards for his independent work and is featured perennially in various juried art annuals and magazines. He presently works in concept and character design for feature films teaches digital painting online at Schoolism.com, and on other top secret projects that he isn’t allowed to talk about. “As lifelong Torontonians, Kei and I love the diversity of our city and there’s truly no better place to experience this diversity than on the subway. We started sketching on the subway in 2005 and kept doing it for years as a way to improve our drawing and observation skills. That is all these sketches are to us: our attempts to get better at doing something that we love dearly.” http://www.imaginismstudios.com
Conor Coady, born in Dublin, Ireland in 1973, currently lives and works as an art teacher in Berlin, Germany. He studied fine art printing and painting on the west coast of Ireland in Sligo and Limerick, graduating in 1994 after which he took up the post of mural painting instructor in Dublin. Following his graduation he continued to work in varying capacities as freelance illustrator, muralist, decorative painter and portrait artist among other art related positions. He has participated in a number of group and solo exhibitions and has exhibited and worked as an artist in Ireland, Berlin-Germany, Seattle-USA and Sydney-Australia. Coady is an active member and regular contributor to the Urban Sketchers Berlin. “These drawings are short studies, and where possible are coloured in situ with a water brush and water colours. The intention is not to produce a finished piece but rather to commit to paper a brief impression of fellow travelers. The whole scene facing the traveler is one of perpetual change. There is admittedly also a voyeuristic element to the drawings, which is countered by the reaction to being observed by fellow travelers while in the process of drawing/painting.” http://conorcoady.blogspot.de/
Jason Das is an interdisciplinary artist, organizer, instigator, and concerned neighbor based in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He serves as President of the global nonprofit Urban Sketchers, dedicated to raising the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing. “Sketching people on the city bus or subway—environments with fixed boundaries populated by numerous unpredictable moving targets—is one of the very best ways to practice drawing people. It’s also a great way to learn so much about my fellow passengers—what they’re wearing, what they’re reading, how they slouch and nod off. It’s an exercise in both mindfulness and civics; and if I’m lucky, I get a nice-looking sketch at the end.” http://jasondas.com
Sharon Frost has been an artist all her life, and has lived in New York City since arriving for graduate work in 1968. Sharon retired from a curatorial job as a collector of prints and photographs, more than 10 years ago in order to spend more time with her own work. Since then, she has divided her time between her home/studio in Brooklyn and various Spanish-speaking places. Devoting more time to her artwork has been surprising in many ways, “I’m not doing things I thought I would do and I’m doing things I never before saw myself doing.” Sharon Frost was born in Hollywood Florida, 1945 and holds a MA, Hunter College, 1977. “I’m attracted to drawing and painting in shared public spaces like mass transit. I use whatever tools and materials are readily available and like the feeling of being mobile, both personally and expressively. Since the 1970’s I have been inspired by the paintings and drawings of Alberto Giacometti, and to a lesser degree by the shelter drawings of Henry Moore.” http://sharonfrost.typepad.com
Stephen Gardner was born in England and studied art at the Cornwall College of Art graduating in 1982. In 1989 he moved to New York City to further his career as an illustrator and artist, and became a member of the Society of Illustrators that same year. Gardner has painted the covers of more than 200 book covers and countless baseball cards for both Topps and Upperdeck. His painting for the movie poster Unforgiven is part of the permanent collection at the Society of Illustrators and his portrait of Joe DiMaggio hangs in the baseball hall of fame. Stephen Gardner started his bar painting series as part of his MFA studies at Fashion Institute of Technology from where he graduated in 20011 and now teaches. “As a professional artist and illustrator of over 30 years, I’ve always valued the importance of a daily drawing regime. Drawing on the subways is one of the many joys of living in New York. Commuting is a necessity and subway drawing turns this, somewhat, mundane necessity into a virtue. With an ever-revolving cast of characters supplying endless opportunities to practice and hone ones skills, I’m often surprised not to encounter other artists at work.” http://www.gardnerillustration.com
Oona Leganovic has shown her drawings of people and places in solo exhibitions across Germany, one of them the result of a successful Crowdfunding campaign. She is a founding member of Urban Sketchers Berlin, and is currently preparing for another Crowdfunding campaign to organize an exhibition of her sketches done on Berlin public transport. “I draw people on public transport, where they come up close and personal, try hard to avoid noticing each other, while being bored and fixed in a place.” http://playinprogress.net
Nicole Little is a Toronto based multimedia artist, who believes that the art that genuinely reflects real, diverse people is the art that endures. It is with that mindset that Nicole finds subjects and draws what she sees, not the imagined ideal. “Buses and subways are my studio. This is where I honed my drawing skills and this is where I find my most inspiring subjects. It is where I produce my favourite work, even if it does get a little bumpy sometimes. Recently, I have been drawing travellers on maps, inviting the viewer to share the sense of location we feel as we chug through traffic or zoom through the underground.” https://www.flickr.com/people/littleoutrage/
Anna Rich is an editorial and children’s book illustrator, producing the pictures for stories that are read before bedtime. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of design Anna is a native of the Bronx, the Holy City of Brooklyn and Long Island. Her illustrations are painted in oil paint on canvas. “An evening spent learning how to make a simple sketchbook got me back in the habit of carrying a sketchbook and kit everywhere. The kind of fast and intense observation and recording of even unappealing surroundings is perfect exercise for keeping the eye and hand in shape. A bonus is the practice has made time fly in even the most trying situations.” http://www.flickr.com/people/bananaoil/
Rolf Schröeter was born in Grevenbroich and now lives in Berlin, Germany. After completing an apprenticeship as a stonemason, he went on to get an architectural degree from the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen University and moved to Berlin in 2000. Since his youth he has been continuously filling sketchbooks with observational drawings. In 2009, he began publishing his locative sketches online Urban Sketchers Berlin and on his blog. “When sketching, I aim to capture my environment from my viewpoint from within the scene, in a strictly subjective setting. I try to work as immediately as possible, in an unconscious mood and with various materials that are easily at hand. As this still takes a certain amount of time, I do not create ‘snapshots’, but rather spontaneously have to choose from different temporal states of the scene, that I squeeze into to a ‘micro narrative’.” http://skizzenblog.rolfschroeter.com
Steve Wilkin is a freelance illustrator based in the UK, and has more than twenty years’ experience of working for design, publishing and editorial clients. He has exhibited internationally at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy and Japan. He is also the Illustration Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Illustration and MA Children’s Book Illustration at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston UK. In 2012 he designed a newspaper called 738 that published some of his observational drawings of commuters and distributed the publication freely on his daily journey to work. The 738 newspaper was shortlisted for the Association of Illustrators Illustration Awards and exhibited at Somerset House, London in October 2013. His drawings have recently been featured in Freehand by Helen Birch published by Hardie Grant and Sketch Your World by James Hobbs published by Apple Press 2013. Steve Wilkin lives near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire and commutes every day to his lecturing post in Preston; he still attempts to draw his fellow commuters every day. “I feel the need to draw whenever I can, and the train can be the ideal place, with a captive audience. Even though my models are often asleep, reading the newspaper or texting friends, I try to capture them through observational drawing without correction or manipulation. I have amassed hundreds of drawings of commuters and filled over thirty sketch books.” http://www.stevewilkin.co.uk
Jan Beringer (Mobile drawings in a Mini Cooper documenting a 300km daily commute across the Alberta prairies from Calgary to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller.)
Jan Beringer’s art and design based practice focuses on the development of theoretical, embodied and experiential based drawings, objects and spaces. His transdisciplinary projects are critically situated and informed within the methodologies and processes of interrelated disciplines and cultural history. Jan’s ongoing studio projects include a series of mobile drawings, Consumption + Production, based on the liminal spaces emerging within a daily commute both across the Alberta prairies and through the city of Mumbai. He was recently awarded a public art sculpture commission in Calgary AB. http://janberinger.prosite.com