© 2019 Luke T. Bush
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- 8/29/19
For too long the chasm between Koffee Kat and Heritage Printing has been dead, empty. Decades ago a fire had destroyed the building that once sat there at 100 Margaret Street.
But thanks to the efforts of Joe Ferris the vacant lot is seeing a rebirth. On Thursday evenings at 5:30 PM (weather permitting) he conducts a free al fresco figure drawing class. A hay wagon is being transformed into a performance stage which allows Joe to pose for his students. This evening only one student is in attendance but it takes time to build up a following.
Joe aims to create a nexus for local artists. He feels there's a need for artists to meet each other and share their interests. That's why the figure drawing class is free, opening it up to more people to participate. Students just have to bring along a drawing pad and pencils.
He begins his lesson by telling his student to quickly draw him posing to get the essentials of the image, not to concentrate on details at first. Even I helped when he quickly sketched me standing, waiting to take another a shot, for his student. He pointed out to her how I was leaning more on one leg than the other.
The student sat in a folding fabric camp chair, comfortable as she sketched. The setting is informal, a classroom without walls except for a towering neighboring building on each side. Sawhorses, plywood, and piles of two-by-fours evince the area is a work in progress. In one section a barbeque set up stands, waiting for the next time when Joe and his parents host another cookout with reasonable prices.
Joe poses on the stage: fists clenched in a boxing move, standing with one arm pulled back as if throwing a football, kneeling with his hands together in prayer. At one point he locks into a position for abut five minutes allowing the student to take her time to draw in the details.
Next week there will another another free drawing class. And as the word spreads, the group of like-minded creators should grow.
For more info: facebook.com/joeferrisart. firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about the drawing class and also the Saturday barbeque.