If the impending spring months have got you itching to try something new, consider gathering up those art supplies for a different kind of Sunday experience.
The “Men’s Art Event” in Fort Lauderdale takes place the second and fourth Sunday of each month — a “freestyle male life drawing session.”
Organizer Jonathan Yates brings in a different nude male model at each session for both long and short poses. All artist levels are welcome to come and draw with charcoal, pencil and watercolor.
SFGN recently talked with Yates about the event — now in its fifth year.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
My professional life was spent in the legitimate theater in Boston, Chicago and [in] national touring shows. I am not particularly artistic. My forte is in management and putting events together.
How did the Men’s Art Event start and how has it evolved over the years?
We started in September 2013. I started it because there were no life drawing sessions in the area just for men — male models and male artists. I had modeled for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago when I was in college, and have continued to model for artists and photographers. The biggest evolutions have been trying a co-ed night, which did not bring in any female artists — and moving to a larger studio since we first started. We now have a larger pool of both artists and models.
How do you find your models?
I started with posts on Craigslist and asking people I met in social situations. Now we usually get friends of current models who want to join us, and recommendations from our artists of guys they have seen at other art sessions and/or personal friends.
The models, many of whom have been with us since the beginning, tell us that they truly enjoy the time they spend with us in the studio.
How would you describe the experience for attendees?
The artists have a good time, create some wonderful art, and I am constantly told by them that we have the best models in town.
Yates said the studio has tables and chairs, but you should bring art supplies and an easel (if you’d like). The cost is $25 cash at the door with an advance reservation.
The next session is March 11. All session run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at The Great Project, located at 822 NE 4th Ave., two blocks behind the Cubby Hole tavern.
Other dates on the schedule are March 25, April 1, April 22, May 13 and May 27.
More information, including samples of art, is at mensartevent.tumblr.com.