Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How to Become a Member


Urban Sketchers Chicago (USk Chicago) is a not for profit group of sketchers who live in and near Chicago, IL.  USk Chicago meets on the third weekend of every month to sketch different parts of the city.  Our mission is to “show the world one drawing at a time.”  Here is our Manifesto.  We are one of many Urban Sketchers chapters from all around the world that identifies themselves as a part of the Urban Sketchers movement.  Our group is comprised of a wide range of people from all different backgrounds and skill levels, including architects, artists, designers, engineers, lawyers, and teachers just to name a few.  Members of USk Chicago share their sketches to Facebook, where sketchers find inspiration from other sketchers, learn about different sketching techniques, sketching tools and materials, and find group announcements regarding monthly sketching events.  
Members post sketches from their daily lives in Chicago or from their travels outside of Chicago. 

We are a local group, most of us live in Chicago or Chicago geography.  But we have a few people from further environs. We have members from Central, Western and Northern Illinois who make it to our sketch meets. We have a few members from South Wisconsin and NW Indiana, USk groups do not exist there for now, so we add these sketchers.

And there is another category: sketchers who travel to Chicago to draw here.  These people are special, we love them, add them to the group, and meet and sketch with them. When we travel, we are treated the same in far parts of the world.

USk Chicago sketching downtown with Miriam Ben (second from the left) from Munich Germany

We are Urban Sketchers, sketching is very important to us. But there is another equally important purpose to our group - it is creating a community of people who share a vocation and who support each other in our particular brand of craziness. 

Unlike many online groups, we meet in real life. We do things together. We have regular sketching events, we eat and drink together, we had a party in one of our homes. What is less known is that we look within our group to hire employees for our businesses, we take each other’s art classes, we find people in the group with whom to start new initiatives, we invite each other for Seder. We are a very special group.

To safeguard this unique spirit of friendship and contentedness, to make sure that there is a good fit between a new sketcher and the group we screen new requests when people want to join USk Chicago.  We want to know if a new sketcher lives close enough to join us, if he or she shares our love for sketching on location, wants to participate and communicate.  This is why, to become a member, a new sketcher has a short Facebook chat with one of our admins.

After Architectural Artifacts sketch meet - a get together in O'Shaughnessy's

Now, what if a new sketcher does not live in Chicago geography? What if they like to sketch imaginary subjects or want to share a self-portrait?  What if they do not like to meet other people? What then?

We still want to be friends with you, but perhaps a different group would be a better fit.  Here are some ideas:

Becoming a member of USk Chicago is simple.  Here are the steps:

1)  Visit our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/UrbanSketchersChicago

2)  Click on the “Join Group” button, located at the top of the page, in the bottom right corner of the group’s cover photo.
3)  Once you request to join, one of our group administrators will send you a brief introductory Facebook Message to make sure you live in the Chicago area or close enough attend a group sketch event.  If you are an Urban Sketcher, but do not live in or near Chicago, we will direct you to a USk Chapter that will work better for you.  If you are looking to share your studio still life oil paintings, we will let you know that this group only shares
urban sketches that are done on location, from direct observation.  (Make sure to check your Facebook’s “Other Messages” folder.  Often times, messages get lost here and never seen.
4)  For those who agree to follow our group’s Manifesto, we welcome you and add you to the group and look forward to seeing your sketches and meeting you at the next sketch event.

If you are considering joining USk Chicago, we look forward to meeting you

Art Institute of Chicago by Andrew Banks

This post is written for you by Andrew Banks and Alex Zonis

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