Artists can be basement dwellers. I was looking to create a welcoming place for them.
—Holly Halftone, organizer
It all started with local artist, model and all-around creative type Holly Halftone's active imagination.
"I had read about the Drink and Draw events in L.A., and I wanted to expand upon the idea," says Holly Halftone (real name Holly Kindzierski), founder of Drawn + Plastered, billed as Winnipeg's "first and only themed art night," whose latest 18+ event takes place Saturday, January 26 at The Edge Gallery and Urban Art Centre.
The idea: live models pose for attending comic, graphic and fine artists - who draw them. Plus there's music and dancing - and lots of people in costumes.
"I've always really liked life drawing, and then we threw in themes too to make more work for ourselves," laughs Halftone. It's the thematic, theatrical element, she says, that makes Drawn + Plastered distinctive.
Drawn + Plastered welcomes costumes (Holly Halftone)
And it was successful from the start, the group's inaugural event boasted a Victorian Asylum theme in July 2011, inspired by musician, songwriter and poet Emilie Autumn. Their most popular shindig attracted 150 people to Le Garage Café in St. Boniface, where a Rockabilly Night went down in July.
In total there have been 16 events to date, with themes from Ancient Greece to a punk, alternative Nutcracker night. This weekend the group is going Arthurian, with a Mists of Avalon concept.
In the beginning, Halftone's goal was to get the local comic artists community out, by creating a social event for people who aren't social. "Artists can be basement dwellers," Halftone says. "I was looking to create a welcoming place for them."
For A.J., Shymkiw, who started as an attendee (invited male model, to be specific) and is now the group's manager, it offered a way to re-connect with his "sometimes neglected creative side," and meet like-minded people.
Drawn + Plastered has grown in scope beyond the original aim, however. "We're still being discovered," Halftone says. "It's roughly 50% new people each time - this has gotten much bigger than expected."
Drawn + Plastered Enters the Mists of Avalon, January 26 at The Edge Gallery and Urban Art Centre.