Hang out with 50 models? Gage Academy’s Drawing Jam illustrates Hill’s artistic side

Want to draw a portrait of a clown, a Seattle celebrity, a nude model, or even just yourself (clothes on, please)? This weekend’s Drawing Jam will be a good place to flesh out your hidden artistic talents.

Gage Academy of Art is hosting the annual celebration of art and creativity Saturday, Dec. 1st at its campus on Capitol Hill. During the all-day event, the school opens its studios to the public, which can choose from a variety of art supplies and, oh, more than 50 live models, either in full costumes or no clothes at all. And if you don’t like the selection, there will be mirrors so you can do a self-portrait. 


(Image: Gage Academy)

“It’s one of those Seattle things. It’s really amazing,” said Clara Bui, a Capitol Hill resident and an art novice when she attended her first Drawing Jam years ago. “There are so many rooms, so many models.”

This year’s models include local drag celebrity Sylvia O’Stayformore; former Almost Live star and TV host Nancy Guppy, and Seattle Times artist Gabriel Campanario, who’s known for his sketches that illustrate life around the region. Organizers say Campanario will also be drawing as he is modeling. 

“He will sketch people sketching him sketching him sketching him, well you get the idea,” said Mark Livingston from Gage. “You’ll have a chance to end up in someone’s art work as well as creating your own.”

Livingston says the wild and eclectic Drawing Jam offers a glimpse into the Gage Academy, which for more than 20 years has tried to provide development for artists of all ages and abilities. Gage hosts numerous other programs – many of them free – throughout the year, from exhibitions to lectures to art classes. 

“It’s a fantastic resource,” said Bui who discovered Gage while walking her dog. She decided to take a color theory class, then a figure drawing class, which “gave me the idea I could do this.” In time, Bui quit her technical job at a software company and is now studying full-time to be a painter.

Bui has several Drawing Jams under her belt and recommends it for others who want to explore their inner artist. 

“You can do your own thing. You can draw badly and pretend that’s your style,” she said.

Gage instructors will roam the halls offering advice and conducting demonstrations. There will be a room set up just for young artists and a studio dedicated for teenagers to explore their creativity. Musical performances will serenade the artists throughout the day and food trucks will be stationed outside to replenish the artistic juices. 

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for college students and free for kids and teens. The Gage building is located at 1501 10th Ave E, next to St. Mark’s Cathedral. There is free parking on site.

Learn more at gageacademy.org

Kids invited (Image: Dara Rosenwasser/Gage)

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