Urban Sketchers Buffalo is officially part of the International Urban Sketchers. An organization dedicated to drawing while situated in real life urban settings. The Buffalo Community Organizer for the local chapter is artist, historian and traveler, Dana Saylor.
Rachel: Have you sketched in France and Italy? Do you have any stories you would like to share?
Dana: Yes I sketched in both places- I had an art residency with Officina Lieve outside Florence in January. They're a grassroots co-working space that also hosts slow food monthly dinners. We worked on a creative place-making project to identify historic grist mills and their communities throughout the Mugello Valley (Borgo San Lorenzo is the main town in the Valley. It's the area from which the Medici family originated before they came into Florence.) We also highlighted heritage grains and the agricultural legacy of the region.
Dana’s Roots in Buffalo
Dana started to participate in an organization, Painting for Preservation, founded in 2011 by Sara M. Zak. Urban Sketchers is similar to Painting for Preservation in that artists of all levels and diversity can come together to draw on site.
On September 5, 2015, WNYBAC presented an exhibition by Dana Saylor, Confluence: Collision of Form. To compliment the exhibit, Dana hosted two Plein Air Drawing Workshops in downtown Buffalo in October 2015. In 2016, coloring books of two local neighborhoods: Allentown and East Aurora became available. View her work on her Etsy shop, Confluence Creative.
I Went to the Sketch Meets
On May 30, I came out to the Naval Park to join Dana for the first Sketchers Meet to get a sneak peek at her drawing. I could not make it to the next one, June 4 at the Central Terminal, but I came out to the Lafayette Square to see her work again. They were sketchers sitting all around the Soldiers & Sailors Monument. I did not plan to sketch, but I viewed an interesting scene taking place in front of the central library and started a quick sketch of the situation.At the last sketch meet at Wilkeson Point about 12 artists showed up. The artists decided the place to sit and view and sketch. I asked some of the artists about their work today and the group.
“First time. Nice. Outdoors,” shared Billy; penciled lyrics from a song.
“Experiment, anything in mind. Not know what I’m gonna do. Love something about the breakwater,” chortled Roger; charcoal grease pencil.
“Following International Sketchers for months. Exciting we have a Buffalo one. It’s nice to be with artists: interactions, support,” Linda said; pen, ink and water color.
After being nosy, I sketched a bit and started to write a poem.
For Updates on sketch meets: facebook.com/urbansketchersbuffalo/
Rachel L. Johnson
Contributor Focus: "Buffalo: Deep Roots Abroad"