UrbanSketchers.org Annual Report 2020

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ANNUAL REPORT UrbanSketchers.Org 2020


MISSION To raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of on-location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel.

MANIFESTO We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel. Our drawings are a record of time and place. We are truthful to the scenes we witness. We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles. We support each other and draw together. We share our drawings online. We show the world, one drawing at a time.

COVER IMAGES (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): SKETCH BY HAROLD GOLDFUS; FEDERICA MARINARO; SKETCH BY MARU GODAS; USK BERGAMO; XANA JUAREZ; SKETCH BY MAT LET 2 2020 ANNUAL REPORT

SKETCHBOOKS BY MEMBERS OF USK TERRES DE L’EBRE


CONTENTS From The President 4 2020 At A Glance 6 Executive Board 8 Strategy Overview 10 2020 Statistics 12 Community Grant Program 14 Education 16 Events 20 Social Media 22 Drawing Attention 28 Financials 30 Sponsors 32 Support Our Mission 34

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2020 ANNUAL REPORT 3


FROM THE PRESIDENT

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he year 2020 was a challenge for Urban Sketchers and the entire world. It is daunting to list all the events and upheavals that made this year one of incredible suffering, hardship and confusion. No Symposium, no workshops, no chapter gatherings. The world-wide pandemic struck at the root of what we do and who we are as Urban Sketchers. Despite all this, we prevailed!

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The year began as usual, planning for workshops and activities, organizing social media campaigns, approving new chapters, gathering stories for Drawing Attention and getting ready for the Board’s annual face-to-face meeting. By late February early March, most of this came to a halt as lockdowns began across Asia, Europe, North and South America. On top of all the personal difficulties we faced, there was the concern of how to keep the USk community informed and active, and how to keep urban sketching alive during a global pandemic. There were four big ideas that were conceived by USk members:

1. USk Talks 2. Global Chapter Meetings 3. Drawing Attention and Social Media 4. Reflection and Restructure USk Talks was conceived and developed by the Education Committee as a way to engage Urban Sketchers and keep the community informed and vibrant. A series of talks with well known Urban Sketchers and sketching challenges explored sketching practices during lockdown, ways of viewing the world through your window and a great many topics of interest. The popularity of the program, first through Instagram Live (IGTV) and now through USk YouTube, has given way to a second season and the development of the Reportage Grant Program. The Membership Committee organized a world-wide chapter administrators meeting to see how everyone was doing and to answer any questions skechers had. It was an amazing gathering


of over 100 members, sharing and discussing their experience during the pandemic. That initial meeting has led to quarterly meetings that help share ideas and strategies on how groups can continue to show the world ‘one drawing at a time’. The Drawing Attention (DA) and social media teams kept us informed and up to date on what was happening around the world, how people were coping and keeping active. The sharing of information in various languages made DA more inclusive and spoke to the organization’s global reach and diversity. Across all USk platforms, sketchers continued to display their work, share their thoughts and tell the story of the pandemic.

dozens of committee members. Thank you to our volunteers for all they do to make our work possible. And thank you to the 200,000+ followers. We are proud of the work we’re doing together to share, support, and engage in our mission to show the world, one drawing at a time. Happy Sketching,

Richard Alomar 2020 President Urban Sketchers

The Board’s annual meeting was held remotely last July. In addition to the monthly meeting duties, the Board worked together to develop the strategic plan for 2021-2023. The slowdown during 2020 allowed the board to think and rethink its strengths, weaknesses and how to better meet our mission. We also saw the passing of Eduardo Salavisa, an early member of Urban Sketchers. Eduardo was a great inspiration in the world of graphic diaries and urban sketching in Portugal, and one of the founders of the Portugal association. Eduardo was born and lived in Lisbon, graduated from the School of Fine Arts and was a secondary school teacher. He will be missed. Urban Sketchers exists thanks to hundreds of volunteers around the world – from our regional chapter administrators and instructors to our Executive Board, Social Media team and

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2020 AT A GLANCE

322

TOTAL CHAPTERS WORLDWIDE

365 days

ABOVE: AT ART DECO WEEKEND IN MIAMI BEACH, A FREE SKETCH TOUR AND DEMONSTRATIONS WERE LED BY USK ORLANDO, SUPPORTED BY SISTER CHAPTERS OF USK MIAMI, USK TAMPA. ABOVE RIGHT: A PARIS CAFE SKETCH BY ELEANOR DOUGHTY. RIGHT: MAURICIO ARTURO LÓPEZ SKETCHING IN CUENCA. 6 2020 ANNUAL REPORT

of inspiration, encouragement, support & giving back to the Urban Sketchers community


32 million lifetime page views

400,000 SKETCH BY VICTOR SWASKY

ABOVE: SKETCH OF BUENA VISTA BUILDING, EDMONTON, ALBERTA BY JOANNE WOJTYSIAK. RIGHT: SKETCH OF

A LOS ANGELES PROTEST BY JOEY MASON

followers and urban sketching across all USk social media platforms

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2020 EXECUTIVE BOARD

President Richard Alomar New York City, USA

president@ urbansketchers.org

Events Director Peggy Wong Kuching, Malaysia

events@urbansketchers.org 8 2020 ANNUAL REPORT

Vice President (since July 2020) Genine Carvalheira Toronto, Canada

vicepresident@ urbansketchers.org

Education Director Rita Sabler Portland, USA

education@ urbansketchers.org

Secretary Uma Kelkar San Jose, USA

Treasurer Gail Wong, Seattle, USA

Social Media Director (since July 2020) Noga Grosman Miami, USA

Sponsorship Director (since July 2020) Mohan Banerji Finchampstead , UK

secretary@ urbansketchers.org

socialmedia@ urbansketchers.org

treasurer@ urbansketchers.org

sponsorship@ urbansketchers.org


ADVISORY BOARD Elizabeth Alley Gabi Campanario Jessie Chapman Suma CM Jason Das José Louro Jim Richards Tia Boon Sim Rob Sketcherman Paul Wang Joel Winstead

KEY COMMITTEE MEMBERS Patricia Chow, Drawing Attention Managing Editor Raylie Dunkel, Sponsorship Coordinator Javier Mas Pinturas, Membership Coordinator Kris Mordecai, Fundraiser Coordinator

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ELEANOR DOUGHTY AND FRIENDS

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2021-2024 STRATEGY PLAN SEPT 2020

I

n 2020, Urban Sketchers entered its second decade. Usually the Board meets for three days and cranks out plans and ideas that each one of the Board Members brings to the table after deep study. These plans provide a longterm vision for the organization, resources to accomplish our goals and a way to share USk with new sketchers and groups.

Our mission is to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of on-location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel. 2024 VISION • To demonstrate the global impact of Urban Sketchers communities, education and events.

STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS • Global communication • Diversity and inclusion • Structured planning

STRATEGIC COMMITMENTS & PRIORITIES Global Communications • Accessible USk information hub • Improve USk technological infrastructure • USk member preferences: surveys • Enhance & part automate Board/Committee interaction Diversity and inclusion • Outreach and education focus • Celebrate people, regions, language and stories • Art, education and sponsor partnerships Structured Planning • Activity, event, project, program proposals • Resource and outcome tracking • Priority planning and reporting. 2020 ANNUAL REPORT 11


2020 STATISTICS

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Reach of in-person lectures was approximated from Symposium attendance while reach of USk Talks was measured by Instagram and You Tube analytics until end of year 2020.

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SKETCH BY HAROLD GOLDFUS


SKETCH OF COMMUTER BY MAT LET & SKETCH OF GANDHAK BAOLI BY DISHA CHAUHAN.

USK COMMUNITY GRANT PROGRAM

E

he USk Community Grant Program combines our two greatest resources: our enthusiastic USk Chapters with our talented USk instructors. The program is an educational event brought to a community to celebrate the life-changing power of on-location drawing. No programs took place during the pandemic, but we look forward to their continuation in 2021-22. We selected the following three grant proposals and each one of them

has delayed the use of funds until 2021. We appreciate the responsible choice that the local USk chapters made. The grantees are:

• Let’s start sketch journal: Show the world (Tokyo’s

NOW) through your eyes! Chapter: USk Japan • Urban Sketchers visit Golfito Chapter: USk Costa Rica • Reach Out and About – with the Reading Urban Sketchers and Jelly Chapter: USk Reading Uma Kelkar, Secretary

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USK EDUCATION DURING THE PANDEMIC

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arly in the year, the USk Symposium, workshops, seminars, and other educational programs had to be canceled. The global pandemic struck at the heart of what we do as sketchers – draw on location, tell stories of our world, gather with our local chapters, and travel. This year put to the test the power of connection, community and creativity, and Urban Sketchers responded with unity, thirst for learning, and endurance.

BARCELONA ARTIST MARU GODAS SHARED THE GIANT SKETCHBOOKS SHE CREATED DURING LOCKDOWN IN EPISODE 1 OF USK TALKS 16 2020 ANNUAL REPORT


Right from the outset we saw how the community adapted quickly to the changing circumstances. A new hashtag #uskathome was born and social media was awash with sketches that inspired us to look for subjects to draw in our immediate environment.

SKETCH WITH HONG KONG

In lieu of the canceled Symposium and out of appreciation for the work that USk Hong Kong had done in planning it, Education, Events, and Social Media teams put together a week long event where we encouraged our community to post drawings done on location and united under two themes:

• Sketches of Hong Kong done on location • “Aha” moments of sketching breakthroughs. Sketchers were encouraged to post their drawings with the hashtags and a special watermark to make them stand out. The event culminated in a USk Talks episode where Hong Kong sketchers talked about what went into planning the Symposium, highlighting their city and the community of Urban Sketchers. Many participated, sharing their touching tributes to the local chapter and their breakthrough moments from previous Symposia. It really felt like the closest we could have gotten to having a Symposium without actually having one.

USK TALKS

A new USk program called USk Talks was born in March of 2020. The idea was initially suggested by the former Education Director Mário Linhares and developed by the current Education Director Rita Sabler, in close collaboration with Education Committee member Rob Sketcherman, and Social Media Director Noga Grosman. Our goal was simple – to inspire and uplift our community at this dark moment. Sketchers around the world have responded with great interest 2020 ANNUAL REPORT 17


EDUCATION

and enthusiasm to our weekly live streams, posting numerous drawings of the show in response to weekly challenges presented by the guests. The feedback has been great so far, and every week our viewership grew. Adding segments to YouTube and IGTV has allowed us to archive the episodes, further expanding our reach.

Several instructors offered helpful tips ranging from recording demos, equipment, ensuring effective studentteacher interaction during distance learning, platforms, and technical aspects of Zoom. One of the important topics that was addressed was how technology could serve as a tool going forward in the post-pandemic world.

The idea behind the show is simple. Bring the familiar faces of our beloved instructors, chapter leaders and sketchers to everyone’s living room. Our routines are disrupted and we can no longer gather safely to learn and sketch together physically, but we can continue to stay connected and learn by hearing inspiring ideas from those most respected in our field. The shows took the form of a short friendly interview with two speakers providing different takes on the same subject.

EDUCATION AND OUTREACH

The birth of the USk Talks program during such a dark time will be a symbol of our community persevering in the face of obstacles. Right now it is a bright spot each weekend for sketchers to see familiar faces, beautiful sketches, and get inspired to try a new method, tool or subject. When things return to normal, this program can continue to be an accessible platform to spread our message of education and community.

EDUCATORS FORUM

On June 4, 2020 we held our first Educators’ Forum inviting USk instructors to share their feelings and experiences related to the current situation and offer innovative solutions for teaching and learning remotely.

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On May 21, 2020 Education Director Rita Sabler and USk Secretary Uma Kelkar presented a webinar titled Urban Sketchers: Community and Storytelling Live on by invitation from Tapas Mitra, the Head of the Department of Urban Design at the University of Bhopal. The webinar was attended by almost 200 participants – university students, urban sketchers, and community members – and featured a presentation about the forces of community and adaptation in the challenging climate of social distancing. Uma and Rita took questions after the presentation. Rita Sabler, Education Director


Ethan Chan I never thought about using sketches as a part of journalism and I really loved the way your sketches captured the feeling of a scene – Ethan Chan Katie Ross

A

Sophia Benitez

I one day wish to travel and capture what I see in the cities and towns through art rather than photos – James Leff

new crop of young high school students was inspired to take on urban sketching when Rita Sabler taught a class to Millburn High School in Millburn, NJ, USA, to help them understand the ideas behind the movement, the techniques, subjects, and urban sketching’s global reach.

Especially because of the pandemic, you have helped me to see a world I cannot see right now through such beautiful colours and amazing stories – Sophia Benitez

Caitlin Samson

[This] made me feel inspired to draw everywhere I go – Tiffany Jia Annabelle Huong 2020 ANNUAL REPORT 19


PHOTO COURTESY KEESUNG SONG

Eighteen mini sketchbooks were shown at USk Suwon’s (South Korea) first group exhibition (June-July 2020)

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SOCIAL MEDIA

USK EVENTS

I

n November 2019, the USk Executive Board, with the USk Hong Kong Symposium team, had to make the tough decision to postpone the Symposium. This decision was made after much deliberation involving travel logistics, political stability, financial accountability to the organisation and participants’ safety and security.

In lieu of the Symposium, and in solidarity with Hong Kong, an April weekend of Sketching with Hong Kong was successfully carried out with the enthusiastic and supportive USk global community. We look forward to the return of an in-person USk Symposium, some time in a safer future.

DRINK & DRAW

The organization strategized on an event structure that was different from a Symposium, aiming to be globally inclusive for all regional chapters and our global community at large. The events committee is currently working to develop this into events for 2021 onwards. Peggy Wong, Events Director

SKETCHWALKS

SPONSORS

COMMUNITY

SKIT SKETCH (SHARING)

EVENTS

EDUCATION LECTURES

WORKSHOP

DEMO

USK SYMPOSIUM INCLUSIVENESS / ACCESSIBILITY: • only to those with Symposium passes • to those who can travel to attend in person • via social media (one way: Symposium reporting to community)

SOCIAL MEDIA (SHARING)

SKETCHWALKS

REGIONAL CHAPTERS

COMMUNITY

USK EVENTS – LOOKING FORWARD

The Covid-19 pandemic cut off global travel and local meetups, forcing the organization to re-evaluate strategy.

REGIONAL CHAPTERS

EVENTS

SPONSORS

EDUCATION USK TALKS

PRODUCT REVIEW

DEMO

USK OTHER EVENTS? INCLUSIVENESS / ACCESSIBILITY: • global community and regional chapters • from where they are or local commute • social media (two way: reporting to community AND from community) 2020 ANNUAL REPORT 21


SOCIAL MEDIA 2020 FOCUS ON USK COMMUNITY REACH AND ENGAGEMENT

T

he unique circumstance of 2020 defined USk Social Media’s activity and purpose as the primary Urban Sketchers communication tool with our community around the world.

When people around the world were in lockdown, confined at home for months, the USk Social Media team rose to the challenge: to adapt to the new reality, to reach out powerfully (and more frequently) to our sketchers community, to provide content, to inspire and to encourage sketchers to keep sketching, to tell the stories they saw from within their four walls at home, through their windows or balconies, in support of the notion that became obvious: that sketching from observation is a powerful healing tool! With the ban on world travel, and the call for socialdistancing, the cancelation of planned USk social engagement programs, workshops, and events was inevitable. Keeping the USk community together, engaged and providing support to thousands of sketchers worldwide became the top priority. With limitations or prohibitions against groups gathering for on-location sketching, the USk Social Media web platforms became the home for thousands of sketchers worldwide to connect and keep us together as one international supporting and loving group – a family!

ROW BY ROW FROM TOP (L-R): CHRISTINA WALD, USA; DOMINIQUE EICHI, SPAIN; ERIC NGAN, NZ; FEDERICA MARINARO, UK; JAVIER MAS PINTURAS, BRAZIL; JEAN EDWARDS, UK; MARIE-HELENE BROHAN DELHAYE, IRELAND; NOGA GROSMAN, USA; RIONA KUTHE, GERMANY; STEF THELWELL, UK; XANA JUAREZ, USA.

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Urban Sketchers Executive Board members and a small army of USk Social Media volunteers team urgently came together to carefully and creatively craft new programs that would fit the new reality, fill the void, and empower our sketchers.


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SOCIAL MEDIA

In the virtual world that served humanity throughout 2020, keeping people engaged and sane, sketchers and USk chapters have met through Zoom and Google virtual rooms. A big emphasis was given then by USk Executive Board members to keep the urban sketching art form true to its Manifesto. This is where the USk Social Media platforms have served as a clear voice guiding our community through Urban Sketchers’ strong foundation as the lighthouse for the community throughout this big storm. USkTalks is the 2020 flagship program that came out of the pandemic – a weekly one-hour live broadcast filled with rich Urban Sketching contens and discussion topics that was brainstormed as an idea in mid-March by four USk members from Education and Social Media, and first aired live on a USk IGTV feed three weeks later, on April 5th. The program was assembled and developed into 17 weekly episodes, coordinated, and promoted on USK Social Media feeds weekly throughout these months. Inspirational content such as the USk Talks weekly Sketch Challenges continued to be featured by the Social Media team during the hiatus months between USk Talks Season 1 and Season 2. As more assessments were made of the scale of work that went into USk Talks, four USk Social Media team members answered the call with a significant contribution to graphics development, video production, and weekly promotion across all USk social media platforms. In Season 1, the USk Talks team hosted over 30 guests – the incredible USk instructors and influencers who joined Urban Sketchers’ Call during the pandemic and agreed to share their sketching knowledge, styles, tips, and inspiration from their homes and with the entire USk global community. 24 2020 ANNUAL REPORT

USk Talks Season 1 attracted 88,200 viewers on Instagram, 16,700 on YouTube, and 14,000 visitors to the USkTalks webpage on the Urban Sketchers Blog. USk Talks’ vision for 2021 is to include Sponsorship and Membership segments as content enrichment. The USk 2020 Year-end Fundraiser was another program, exclusively designed, promoted and successfully executed by a small group from the USk Social Media team. Over $6,000.00 was raised to benefit the Urban Sketchers organization programs. USk Social Media involvement and development during this year included work on other USk Eexecutive Board programs: the monthly promotion of Drawing Attention web magazine; the development of the Streamyard broadcasting platform; and enhancement of the YouTube channel’s performance. Throughout 2020 the entire USk Social Media team, comprised of 10 volunteers, kept the community’s morale up by sharing daily inspirational posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, empowering USk sketchers to keep sketching and stay connected. It is my honor to recognize and highlight the Social Media members for their incredible contribution and devotion to the Urban Sketchers cause, especially during this pandemic year. Some of the team are serving our community for over three years now, while some are new volunteers. All have a great sense of mission, helping the USk grassroots movement reach-out and bridge across cultures and languages, to maintain the passion for the art form of urban sketching through good times and bad. Noga Grosman, Social Media Director


CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: RITA SABLER, USA; MOHAN BANERJI, UK; ROB SKETCHERMAN, HONG KONG; CHRISTINA WALD, USA; FEDERICA MARINARO, UK; NOGA GROSMAN, USA; LUDWINE VAN CRAENENBROECK, BELGIUM.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Under the Social Media team our community Reach and Engagement on Instagram, the USk’s leading social media platform, has reached new levels: AN INCREASE OF +21.8% REACH 148K Accounts reached as of the last week of 2020 38.5K Content Interactions 243K Total Followers 974K Impressions 6.3K Profile visits AUDIENCE DEMOGRAPHICS • 61% Women and 39% Men AGE RANGE • 25-34 (37% of followers) • 35-44 (20%) • 18-14 (18%) TOP LOCATIONS US, India, Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico

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SKETCH BY SIMO CAPECCHI

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DRAWING ATTENTION

D

rawing Attention is the official monthly zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, and communicates and promotes official USk workshops, Symposia, sketch crawls, news and events. It shares news about USk chapters and educates readers about the practice of on-location sketching.

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During 2020, Urban Sketchers celebrated a milestone of 300 official regional chapters, however, due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, in-person sketch events and workshops were severely limited. Drawing Attention continued to report on our international community as sketchers turned to drawing at home, participating in weekly challenges, catching up with friends on the other side of the world via Zoom, and watching USk Talks, as ways of coping with lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. We also introduced our first bilingual article, written in French and English by Parisian sketcher Mat Let, which appeared in the July 2020 issue, alongside an article written in Spanish by Ecuadorian sketcher Mauricio Lopez. Articles in Korean and German have followed, putting into practice our belief that sketchers should be able to read about their sketching communities in their own languages.


As the pandemic dragged on, Drawing Attention turned to more substantive content, providing our readers with articles on art and mental health; coverage of protests taking place worldwide; and inspirational features on topics such as USk Paris’ Nos Prisons Imaginaires project; and the strength and resiliency found in our community of sketchers, including mobility-impaired Kansas City sketcher Robert Reed. Finally, we ended the year with a tribute to beloved sketcher Eduardo Salavisa. The 2020 Drawing Attention team is comprised of managing editor Patricia Chow; Issuu layout designer Anne Taylor;

Mailchimp layout designer Jane Wingfield; English language writers Mark Anderson, Meagan Burns, Jim Chapman, Monique Chiam, Cathy Gutterman, Mark Leibowitz, Pedro Loureiro, Russell Petcoff, Anne Taylor and Jane Wingfield; French language writer, copy editor and translator Sophie

Navas; Spanish language writer, copy editor, and translator Rosario Muñoz Gajardo; Spanish language writer Luz Vega; proofreader Leslie Akchurin; and social media designers Frieda Christofides, Rita Sabler and Suzala.

We would also like to thank our numerous contributors this year for their time and sharing their stories with us, as well as the USk Social Media and Tech teams for ensuring the wide distribution of the zine. Patricia Chow Managing Editor, Drawing Attention

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SKETCH OF HEARST CASTLE BY SUMA CM


2020 FINANCIAL TABLE INCOME STATEMENT DONATIONS SPONSORSHIPS PROGRAM REVENUE OTHER OPERATING INCOME TOTAL INCOME $

6,817.39 2,946.00 752.46 2,381.52 12,897.37

EXPENSES CONTRACT PERSONNEL EXPENSES OPERATING EXPENSES OPERATING EXPENSES-BOARD PROGRAM EXPENSES BANK AND PAYPAL FEES SPONSORSHIP FEES TOTAL EXPENSES NET INCOME

(6,362.50) (7,980.32) (331.44) (31.34) (187.60) (2,134.95) ($ 17,028.15) ($

4,130.78)

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2020 SPONSORS LIST APA Polska Blick Art Materials Brevillier Urban & Sachs Bruynzeel Caran d’Ache SA Charlie’s Urban Sketch Factory Clairefontaine Rhodia Colart Daniel Smith Products Da Vinci Derwent Ecoline Etchr Faber-Castell General Pencil Co, Inc. Golden Artist Colors, Inc. Hahnemuhle Fine Art Johannes Gerstaecker Verlag Kremer Pigmente Laloran Lamy Leuchtturm1917

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MacPherson Nevskaya Palitra Penup Renesans Rosemary & Co Artists Brushes Royal Talens Sakura Color Products Corp. Seawhite of Brighton Ltd. H. Schmincke & Co Semikolon Sennelier SM LT Art Stillman and Birn Strathmore The Quarto Group Van Beek Art Supplies Van Gogh Viviva Colorsheets Wallace Seymour Fine Art Products Ltd. Winsor & Newton Zebra Pen Corp.


MANAROLA, ITALY BY RIMO KIM

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SUPPORT OUR MISSION HELP US BRING URBAN SKETCHERS TO EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE. • BECOME A SPONSOR – MATCHING GIFT

– SPONSOR INSTRUCTOR FOR A WORKSHOP

SKETCH BY PHIL DEAN

• START OR HELP LEAD A CHAPTER • VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME • GIVE THROUGH AMAZON SMILE

URBAN SKETCHERS urbansketchers.org P.O. BOX 95724. SEATTLE, WA 98145 USA

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SKETCH BY JAVIER DE BLAS


© 2021 Urban Sketchers www.urbansketchers.org


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