DRAW NYC, an open-air drawing studio
- 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.
Other ways to get involved:
- Artists, illustrators, educators: share a prompt and inspire New Yorkers to draw.
- Contact us to bring DRAW NYC to your community.
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 NYC 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 NYC
A residency for DRAW, a pop-up drawing studio, in Washington Square Park
On four Thursday afternoons in this fall (September 19 and 26, and October 3 and 10), Street Lab set up its portable, open-air, drawing studio in the northwest corner of Washington Square Park. The program featured fine art drawing materials, art books, as well as...
A special version of DRAW with The Drawing Center at Johnny Hartman Plaza
This past Wednesday we offered a special version of our DRAW NYC program in partnership with The Drawing Center at Johnny Hartman Plaza, a new pedestrian plaza in Hamilton Heights/West Harlem. Our host was The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (Bro/Sis), and dozens of Bro/Sis...
Making a place for learning at NYCHA public housing
Many NYC kids who live in low-income neighborhoods report that there is little to do over the summer, especially when camps and cultural institutions are out of reach. To help fix that, for six weeks this summer, we created a safe place to hang out and learn next to...