Tonight: Beached Miami and JeanPaul Mallozzi Offer Sketchy Workshop

This past summer, Miami has been overtaken by a Sketchy revolution. No, the streets haven't been overrun by freaks, perverts, and all around weirdos. Not anymore so than usual, anyway.

Instead we refer to a nightlife-and-internet uprising that draws (sorry) from a much more traditional notion of sketch -- that of the pencil, ballpoint pen, feather ink quill, or whatever mechanism tickles your draftsman pickle.

Since June of 2011, Sketchy Miami has been on a mission to produce a portrait of every single resident of Miami-Dade County. And tonight, you're invited to their latest effort to pump up production at the first ever Sketchy Workshop.

"Ximena Prugue (Pink)" by Gerald Obregon
"Ximena Prugue (Pink)" by Gerald Obregon

At the start of Summer, Beached Miami -- the 305's ultimate independent news-and-culture digest, and New Times' Best of Miami 2011 recipient (Best Blog) -- launched their Sketchy Miami portraiture series at Wynwood coffee-and-hang spot, Lester's.

Though their goal is ambitious to the point of impossibility, the project has impressively produced and archived archived a whopping 460 (and counting) sketchies drawn by over 140 artists.

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After Lester's, Beached Miami threw their second party at the Bakehouse Complex. And tonight, the series will make it's debut as a tutorial in portraiture at the inaugural Sketchy Workshop.

Bakehouse artist JeanPaul Mallozzi will be hosting two hours of no-pressure instruction in what organizers describe as "something between an art class and a casual-get-together."

"The concept is highly adaptable," says Beached/Sketchy Miami founder, Jordan Melnick. "It works online, it works as a party, and we believe it will work as a workshop." In fact, Melnick believes the workshop format, which he lauds for its "direct, face-to-face interaction with artists," extra-participatory nature, as one of the main ways the project can stay fresh and branch out.

Though the project's stated goal of all-encompassing Miami portraiture may be lofty, setting the bar high endows the project with the aforementioned malleability, that in turn produces an ever-growing, democratically-intentioned snapshot. That civically-minded, ultra-inclusiveness is most reflected in the Sketchy Pink offshoot, which features portraits of individuals affected by breast cancer.

"Heike-Wollenweber (Pink)" by B M de Varona
"Heike-Wollenweber (Pink)" by B M de Varona

"Sketchy Miami is open to everyone regardless of skill level, artistic ambition, or geography," Melnick declares with the epic cadence of speechwriter crafting a manifesto.

"We have no idea where all of the artists who have taken part hail from within Miami, but I would bet we've got a lot of the city represented already." Melnick explains that Sketchy variants like tonight's workshop are one of the ways the project hopes to "bring in new blood."

"Keep in mind that we have only held two events so far," he says, alluding to the Sketchy future. "This project is very young."

Sketchy Workshop #1 with JeanPaul Mallozzi takes place at Lester's (2519 NW Second Ave., Miami). Cover is $30 for one person, $45 for two, and includes a two-hour drawing lesson, a free glass of wine, two slices of Joey's Pizza, 15% off drinks all night, and an art supply package to bring home. Pre-registration is mandatory and there are only 30 spots available.


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