Drinking and Drawing 101

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School

Chad Sweet is the local host of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, a sort of carnival life-drawing class.

Chad Sweet is the local host of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, a sort of carnival life-drawing class.

Photo By audrey Love

The next Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School event will be on Wednesday, February 23, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Brüka Theatre, 99 N. Virginia St. For more information, www.drsketchy.com/branch/reno.

Class description: This class is intended to provide artists, drinkers, and those majoring in advanced lowbrow culture an egregious opportunity to study the anatomical and structural dynamics of the human figure, and failing that, to get loaded and gawk at half-naked strangers. The course will use live models from the ongoing pageant of depravity that is Reno. Materials include pencil, charcoal, Conte crayon and/or shot glass. The exercises are primarily designed to stimulate the senses and allow the student to manipulate the visual information with knowledge and confidence.

Prerequisites: Etiquette; Meta-Textual Theory and Gender Dissidence in Post-Structuralist College Syllabi; Advanced Irreverence.

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is an international burlesque franchise, consisting of chapters in more than 100 cities worldwide. The finely woven tapestry of intentionally bad taste is stitched together by comedy hacks, go-go dancers, half-naked carnival freaks, rococo gimps, roller derby girls, rent-a-clowns and colon-sniffing immoralists of all stripes, put in the artist’s line of sight in order to inspire creative bursts. Art monkeys—Dr. Sketchy’s term of endearment for the drawing community—keep their tongue firmly planted in cheek as they down shots of social lubricant while trying their damnedest to keep their lines true to form, whether they’re a professional artist or degenerate boozehound off the street, or in many cases, a winning combination of the two.

For a real artist, art justifies any means, and any means justify the creation of art. While art can sometimes be a caste system of haughty affectation and systemic snobbery, Dr. Sketchy promulgates an egalitarian view of the humanities. Art can be great force for good, healing broken minds, and bridging cultural divides. Dr. Sketchy seeks to bring the boring, white-gloved old guard of traditional Figure Study class and marry it off, Utah-style, like a disliked stepsister to a rogue’s gallery full of unusual suspects.

There is a palpable “cock-fight in a church basement” feeling at one of the good doctor’s drawing summits—a general feral aesthete, usually reserved for AA meetings and underground plastic surgery.

Dr. Sketchy is actually inspired illustrator and former art class nudist, hipster crank, Molly Crabapple of Brooklyn. In 2005, Crabapple was frustrated with the pay as well as the general stasis of blinks, yawns, and constant slurps of Vitamin Water from the classes. The hipsters were depressing, what, reasoned Crabapple, should be fun: a class full of creative college kids gawking at naked people.

Psyched for an experience of moral squalor, the good doctor saw a future in a more creative cabaret: drag queens, freaks, go-go personalities and human puppets. The result is something like watching John Waters cast a movie in a Tilt-A-Whirl.

Everyone is welcome, doodlers and freaks alike, according to local host Chad Sweet. Art monkeys should bring their pencils and paper, paint and canvass, Moleskines and sketch pads, and Sweet provides the snacks, music and creative environment.

As Dr. Sketchy’s go, Reno is somewhat of a tame (PG-13) venue, and children are welcome, according to Sweet.

Entry fee is $7, and Sweet says credit hours are likely not transferable toward a degree anywhere but the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. There are prizes.

The show begins at 7:15 p.m. Sweet advises that art monkeys arrive early to secure the best view for this President’s Day freakshow that’s sure to blow the beard right off of Mary Todd Lincoln. Facebook Friends get 2-for-1 price break—that is, bring someone who’s not a Dr. Sketchy’s Facebook Friend and split the cost.