WANT TO GO?
Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School First Anniversary
Featuring Kitty Kilton and Bellarosa
WHERE: Kanawha Players Theater, 309 Beauregard St.
WHEN: 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday
TICKETS: Pre-register (before 3 p.m. Sunday) $8, at the door $10Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School to Charleston part of some grand business plan. He was just looking to add something unique to the Charleston arts scene.
When discussing the event a year ago, he said, "I love it when things happen in Charleston. This seemed to me like something fun that could work, and, if it worked, maybe others would try to find other fun things to do in town."
Getting rich by charging people to come draw pictures of his partially clothed friends was the furthest thing from his mind. It just seemed like a good time. On Sunday, Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School will celebrate one year in Charleston.
"But I didn't know if it was going to work," he said recently. "I mean, I hoped it would, but I had no idea."
Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School was started in Brooklyn by illustrators Molly Crabapple and A.V. Phibes. The two hosted a figure drawing workshop for illustrators (amateur and professional), often in bars. Each workshop had a costume theme, with models dressing up as superheroes or characters from TV shows, movies or books.
The point of it was to have a good time and make art more accessible to audiences. It was a big hit, and soon the idea spread to other cities around the world. Currently, there are more than 120 cities with Dr. Sketchy franchises.
Henderson got involved with it after a mention on Twitter from noted science fiction and fantasy writer, Neil Gaiman. Henderson, a fan and follower of the author, checked it out and immediately wanted to get a franchise in Charleston.
The response has surprised even him.
"It's funny how that worked," he said. "We started off with a core of maybe seven or 10 people, but then others came in and that core shifted. So now we have a different core than what we started with."
Dr. Sketchy's kicked off its first few shows in Charleston at The Empty Glass but later moved to the Kanawha Players Theater, its current location.
"We had a really good experiences at The Empty Glass but scheduling and holding the Sunday slot -- that was just too much."
Henderson said he'd love to try hosting another event there, as well as maybe taking the show on tour to other parts of the state. In the meantime, Dr. Sketchy's remains in Charleston, usually held the third Sunday of each month. Every month, there's a new theme and, often, new models.
"I get asked about posing frequently," he said. "I'm always interested if you have a really good idea."