I just finished a disappointing drawing session at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. Actually, the session was fine; the disappointment was from the attendance, or lack thereof. When the Texas Artists Coalition started doing Saturday sessions at the FWCAC earlier this year, I was the model for that first one, and they had at least ten artists drawing. They planned on holding the sessions two Saturdays a month. Since that first one, attendance has fallen sharply.
I got put on the schedule for the December 8th session a little while back. When the TAC newletter was sent out Friday evening, it contained the following info: "Saturday, December 8, 2012; 1PM - 4PM: SATURDAY Life Drawing This session HAS NOT MADE YET - please sign up NOW or it will be cancelled." There weren't any more e-mails after that, so when I called the center Saturday morning, I was told that the session was still on. Once I got there, I stopped by the office on my way to the drawing studio, and the lady told me that three or four artists had signed up. She said that they had actually signed up just before that newsletter had gone out. Unfortunately, only one artist, an older gentleman who had drawn me several times, actually showed up. I can't help but think that the statement in the newsletter about the possible session cancellation might have deterred the other people. The one guy who did attend said that he had called ahead just to make sure the class was still on.
The session carried on with just the one artist. In an adjoining area of the building, a children's choir was rehearsing for an upcoming performance. During our time there, they worked on only one song, "Joy to the World." It was as if the song was on a continuous loop; we heard it over and over. The kids sounded good, but I wished I could have heard some of the other selections. At one point late in the session, a lady, who I assume was one of the people in charge of the children's choir, walked into the drawing studio while I was in a pose. "Excuse me," she said quickly and backed out. "That's OK," I said. I felt like telling her to get some paper and draw since the room was so empty, but she was long gone by the time I could say anything else.
The guy drawing me said that he was going to talk to the director about possibly underwriting the drawing sessions so that they could be held every week. He and I both agreed that doing Saturday sessions only every other week in addition to the regular Tuesday morning sessions only created confusion as to when a class was actually being held. People tended to forget or not know which Saturday was a drawing Saturday. We both hope that having the sessions consistently every Saturday afternoon would foster increased attendance. And the increased number of sessions would also result in more work for us models. I hope that the director will consent to the schedule change and that artists will actually show up.