Museum goers master art of drawing from Meadows priceless art collection

Oliver Stark stretches his hand in the air in front of him and moves his balled fist to the contours of a rare Vicente López painting, which hangs in the distance on a recent Sunday afternoon at the Meadows Museum.

Along with a group of six other adults, he carefully follows the instructor’s advice and sketches out an oval above a geometric looking arm and torso on his sketch pad.

“I’ve always had an interest in drawing, and honestly what I’ve done is mostly abstract–oil paintings and that kind of thing,” said Oliver Stark, an architect. “So, I wanted to get [into] a more realistic kind [of art] with human figures.”

The sound of pencils scratching echoes in the tiny museum room as the instructor moves about the room checking each of his pupils’ progress.

Drawing from the Masters is an event that has been sponsored by the Meadows Museum for over a decade. It is one of many programs provided by the Museum aimed at increasing engagement with the general public. It seems to be working as several of the attendees are museum members.

“We joined [as members] last year in October,” Stark said.

The longevity and success of the program is because of its popularity with the museum goers, said Ian O’Brien, an elementary art teacher and the group’s instructor. The museum has invited O’Brien to join a teacher advisory council to help with developing curriculum for the museum docents.

“I enjoy it, and they just kept bringing me back,” O’Brien said. “If I can help make the experience better for them or give input, I’m definitely going to do it.”

Nancy Loehr, another museum membership holder, said that she enjoyed participating in the event because she likes to draw but still wants to improve.

“I want to learn how to draw correctly,” she said.

Stark finishes his sketch just as the event wraps up and the rustling sound of chairs packing up commences.

“I enjoy [drawing] anytime I’m trying to think,” Stark said. “I like to build things so I work stuff out in sketches. I’ve always enjoyed that.”