Monster Drawing Rally is my favorite event of the year in Cleveland.
I was first invited to participate in 2012 by Dante Rodriguez. I'd never been to the MDR before, and had no idea what to expect, but I knew it would be special as soon as I heard the concept: 100+ artists drawing live in a gallery for one-night-only to benefit SPACES.
This will be my third year participating. I look forward to it more and more every year. This year, I had the honor of designing the official promotional image for the event. Also, I'm honored to be one of this year's guest curators – charged with selecting some of the participants.
Typically, artists do their craft in the solitude of their studios. The work appears completed in galleries like magic. Some artists (like performance artists) create their work in front of their audience, but most visual artists never "perform" in front of their audience unless they're sketching at a coffee shop or something.
The energy in the room is palpable. It's not often that 100+ artists gather in one place to create. This collective creativity creates an atmosphere that radiates with positive energy. You're sure to feel it the second you walk through the door.
All the work is sold for $65. With all the work priced equally, the artists are competing, not just for your attention, but your patronage. However, sales are not guaranteed, so artists are forced into competition to stand out amongst such a diverse, talented field. In this way, SPACES simultaneously creates an event that is both cooperative and competitive. Similarly, patrons must compete with each other to purchase their favorite works. If more than one person wishes to purchase a work, they must draw cards. If you aren't paying attention, your favorite piece may be gone before you notice. It's this healthy competition that keeps raising the bar at each annual event.
For one-night-only, SPACES allows these talented artists the opportunity to perform like "rock stars" in front of thousands of viewers. It also gives the audience a rare glimpse into more than a hundred creative processes. In one night, viewers can see dozens of techniques and styles.
The best part for the audience is the ability to purchase work that was created in front of their eyes. Any work bought at the MDR is a guaranteed conversation starter. Not only do you get a new, one-of-a-kind work of art; you get a story to go along with it.
SPACES' Monster Drawing Rally is a mutually beneficial experience for the artists, the audience and SPACES. Don't miss this special evening at SPACES Saturday, April 12th 6-10pm.
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.