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The Big Draw!


Get ready for The Big Draw, presented by New York City's The Drawing Center as part of The River to River Festival!

Join this second annual celebration of drawing, inspired by the wildly popular program of the same name in the UK.  The Big Draw offers hands-on art projects for all ages that are guaranteed to change the way you think about drawing. Pick up a free sketchbook and participate in artist-led activities at five fantastic Lower Manhattan venues. Bring your imagination and let your creativity flow—no experience necessary! The event will take place on Saturday, September 8 from 11AM to 4PM.


The Drawing Center is hosting numerous activities in various locations for this event, but our favorites, at the World Financial Center Winter Garden and Plaza, are all about knitting and crochet!  Purl Bee Friends are encouraged to join in and contribute to the creativity and inspiration!


Saturday, September 8, from 11:00 AM-4:00PM
Winter Garden and Plaza, Between Vesey
and Liberty Streets, in Battery Park City

Draw in space with knitted, knotted, and crocheted lines in artist Sheila Pepe’s communal drawing project. Lace together the buses parked on the plaza with rope, yarn, and shoelaces. Decorate your way on board, save your seat with a crocheted web, or wrap, tassel, and pom-pom at the Craft Stop. Sheila-Pepe_1Gowanus.jpg

Sheila's work appeared in the Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting show at the Museum of Arts and Design this past June.  For The Big Draw, World Financial Center Plaza, she has conceived of a piece that celebrates the role of the MTA bus in our daily lives. The artist explains,
We will hold a one-day party for the bus to celebrate its unique and time honored service, and dress the bus up for its own party. Visitors to the event will help knit, crochet and craft various brightly colored elements out of soft materials.  These homespun, hand-crafted trimmings will help illustrate the fact that our bus drivers often deliver us just steps from our homes, while allowing visitors to truly personalize their crafted homage to the bus.

BUS LINES will be donated to The Drawing Center’s annual benefit auction.

In addition to the main event, Purl Bee friends can get involved by participating in:

AUGUST 22, AUGUST 29, SEPTEMBER 5    6:00-8:30PM

The Big Draw gears up for the big day with three informal opportunities for knitters to gather in the Winter Garden.  Be sure to bring your stash of old yarn, needles, or crochet hooks and create pieces for The Big Draw. 

Big Draw Knit-Ins will encourage the participation of local community and the World Financial Center’s 40,000 corporate employees through a 5 minute knitting lesson and opportunity to contribute their knitting skills to The Big Draw Scarf (the world's longest line) project.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 12:30-2:30PM + 5:30-7:30PM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 12:30-2:30PM + 5:30-7:30PM

Participate in the Organknitic Craft Stop, a workshop with artist Chris Kennedy, which will re-imagine the craft of knitting by replacing conventional fibers with unconventional materials such as plastic bags, used clothing, and plants.

The Knots, Pom-Poms, and Tassels Craft Stop will feature an expert knot maker and volunteers who teach pom-pom and tassel making,

From now until September 7th, 2007

Even if you're not local to New York City, you can participate in The Big Draw! The Drawing Center is accepting donations of usable yarns, remnants, swatches, and even abandoned projects, as well as plastic and metal knitting needles and crochet hooks for use in Bus Lines.  This is a great opportunity to lighten your stash, and contribute to a meaningful project!  All left over usable materials from The Big Draw will be donated to Materials for the Arts.

Please send donations to:
Karen Kitchen
Brookfield Properties
200 Liberty Street
NY, NY 10280

To arrange drop-off donations, please contact Karen Kitchen at
The Drawing Center is the only fine arts institution in the U.S. to focus solely on the exhibition of drawings, both historical and contemporary.  It was established in 1977 to provide opportunities for emerging and under-recognized artists; to demonstrate the significance and diversity of drawings throughout history; and to stimulate public dialogue on issues of art and culture.

river_to_river.jpgThe River to River Festival now in its sixth season, presents more than 500 cultural events throughout Lower Manhattan’s parks, plazas and waterfronts from June through September.  The Big Draw is part of the “Arts on the Horizon” series developed to highlight the programming of three cultural institutions that are planning new homes in Lower Manhattan (The Joyce Theater, The Signature Theatre and The Drawing Center). “Arts on the Horizon” is a co-production of River to River and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Campaign for Drawing was initiated in the United Kingdom in 2000cfdlogo.jpg by The Guild of St. George, a small charity founded by John Ruskin, the great Victorian artist, writer and visionary. Ruskin saw drawing as the basis of visual thought.  His mission was not to teach people how to draw, but how to see.  A program of the Campaign, the month-long Big Draw in the UK shows how drawing can be used to interpret collections and exhibitions and engage new and existing audiences with our built and natural environment.

Reader Comments (2)

... yeah ... what a wonderful opportunity ... can't wait to be there ... but there had better be a slew of lovely summer days gearing up for that ... today is not one of them ... what with all the rain ... thank you thank you thank you for such a detailed write-up ... happy days ... mille baci ...
August 10, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterina and gumby
you rock people!
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbill

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