Wrexham art classes with a cheeky theme

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A NEW YORK burlesque art event is coming to Wrexham.

Described as “what a life drawing class would be like if they held them at the Moulin Rouge,” Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is an art class with a difference.

Artists are invited to draw glamorous burlesque dancers, and compete in fun challenges for prizes.

The school, which started in Brooklyn in 2005, will be holding its first event in Wrexham on March 1.

“It’s just a fun event for people who can draw, or think they can’t draw but would like to,” said organiser Heather Jones.

With sketching challenges and competitions, wacky prizes, music and performances, the aim was to make art less intimidating for those put off by the seriousness of the art world, she said.

With its cheeky burlesque theme, the class, at Penny Black, Abbot Street, from 7pm, is for over-18s only.

The first session will see award-winning London-based burlesque star Kiki Kaboom posing for artists.

“She does a mix of comedy and burlesque, she’s really clever with what she does,” said Heather. “She’s headlining the London burlesque festival in May.

“I wanted to start the Wrexham classes with a bang, and in burlesque she’s about as big as you can get.”

The classes will be monthly and in April another big burlesque name, Velma Von Bon Bon, will be bringing her unique “flamingo puppetry act” to town.

“I want to get those people who say they can’t draw, it’s loads of fun for those just starting out,” Heather said.

“It’s so quick, with silly challenges like draw with one eye shut, or draw with one hand, that you forget about doing it the ‘right way’.

“People are scared, they’re frightened to go into galleries, they think ‘I’m not creative, I’m not arty,’ but they do have an idea of what they like.”

Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School was the idea came from artist Molly Crabapple in 2005, who dropped out of art school and worked as a part time model.

“She didn’t like the way life-drawing models were treated, and decided to set classes where you really revere the models and get them to sit fun, cheeky, sexy poses,” said Heather.

Heather, a fine art graduate herself, started running Dr Sketchy’s events in Prestatyn as a way of meeting other creative people, and now also runs nights across North Wales and in Chester, which has seen international performers visit.

“Burlesque is very popular at the moment, it’s part of the whole view of self acceptance which ties in with what we are doing with artists,” she said.

See full story in the Leader

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