Pop-up art studio

DRAW is an open-air drawing studio, offering access to fine art materials and a place to draw together in public. Designed for New Yorkers of all ages and always free, elements include:

  • high-quality paper, pencils, charcoal, drawing boards, and tools for drawing
  • prompts for drawing, conceived by artists and educators
  • art books for inspiration
  • benches for seating and a custom-designed cart that stores, moves, and displays the collection
  • a “street gallery” displaying drawings made by other New Yorkers
    staff who set up and run the program

The program can also include teaching artists and options for local organizations and businesses to add special activities (e.g. a still-life display from a local florist).

Here’s what happens: people of all ages approach, sit down, pick up materials, and begin drawing. Some follow artist prompts or are introduced to different materials like blending sticks and watercolor pencils by our staff. Some draw for a short time, others for much longer. People feel good to be drawing together and are transformed into artists, no matter their skill level, on a public stage.

This program has served New Yorkers since 2015.

Help bring drawing to all NYC neighborhoods.

From our Artists in Residence

“I felt like some moments could change something, maybe one moment could change someone’s life.”

— 2017 AIR Luyi Wang

“What I enjoyed most were the personal interactions I had..Being an AIR strengthened my desire to take a more active role as an artist in my community, and to engage with the public more as an artist and art educator.”

— 2015 AIR Susan Coyne

“Most of all, I appreciated the opportunity to connect with members of so many different communities in NYC through art, rather than producing work as an anonymous observer.”

— 2015 AIR Genevieve Irwin

Materials donated by

Blick Art Materials has generously donated high-quality art materials to DRAW NYC since 2015.

The Drawing Center has generously donated a number of its Drawing Papers and provided passes for free admission to its galleries in SoHo.


DRAW is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Updates about DRAW

Meet Street Lab’s 2021 Artist in Residence

Meet Street Lab’s 2021 Artist in Residence

Our 2021 Artist in Residence is Sanika Phawde - an illustrator, cartoonist, and reportage artist based in New York and Mumbai who recently graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a Masters in Illustration as Visual Essay. This summer, Sanika traveled to seven...

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Founding Sponsors

Fabiola Salmán

Betty Chen &
Peter Coombe

Laura & Robert

Romy &
David Cohen

Karen & Dan

Evgenia Peretz