Dozens of artists from Tulsa and beyond will gather on Feb. 15 for an art-making marathon. Pieces created at the event will go on sale for $35 each.
The fourth Philbrook Drawing Rally will bring 50-75 artists to Cabin Boys Brewery, 1717 E. Seventh St., to create masterpieces at the free event. “One of the owners (of Cabin Boys), Lisa McIlroy, is also an artist and has participated in the past as an artist in this so it's really nice tie in,” says Christine Hostetler, Philbrook special projects coordinator. If you’ve had Cabin Boys beer, you’ve seen McIlroy’s work. She designs the cans.
Inspired by an event at Southern Exposure Gallery in San Francisco, Philbrook’s president and director Scott Stulen started the drawing rally in Tulsa three years ago. Stulen, who’s also an artist, has experienced first-hand how artists are barraged for donations and fundraiser events.
“(It’s) more supportive of artists while still having a fundraising event and having it be something where the artists are a little bit more to the front and center of it,” Stulen says. “It’s more fun because so often, those auction events, the artist is not there. It’s just their work that sells for a fraction of the price it should. And it’s such a disconnect between the artists in some ways it actually just hurts the market value.”
As soon as the art is complete, an assistant places it in a plastic protective sleeve and hangs it up on the wall for sale. The fact that you don’t necessarily know who created what makes the process very democratic, Stulen explains.
At past events, the artists have been separated into three rounds so not everyone is drawing at the same time, with anywhere from 15 to 25 artists per round. Sheets of paper (11-by-14 inches) are provided, but artists are welcome to bring any medium they choose. The only catch is it has to dry in time so attendees can take their newly purchased pieces home. Each artist will create at least one piece, but some wind up with a variety of work for sale, Stulen says.
“The public can see the artist, meet the artist (and) see the process, because people love seeing artwork being made,” Stulen says, noting that connection with the artist can lead to more sales. “Because they meet you, they see you, they see your work, they create a connection and they’re able to buy your work for a really inexpensive price.”
The event is family-friendly and will include food from the 1907 Barbecue food truck, games, plenty of beer and non-alcoholic options, as well. Proceeds from sales benefit Philbrook’s education programs. “We’re trying to have more programs that actually are for local artists,” Stulen says. “So bringing in outside speakers, bringing in guest artists, doing programming here that helps support the local artist community.”