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Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art school bares all

The stage’s theme encapsulates that of a winter wonderland, decorated with long, milky sheets draped high from the ceiling and festooned with suspended, twinkling paper snowflakes.

As the crowd fills in, the evening’s seductive talent, Lil’ Miss Tittens, appears in the limelight. She is center stage, dressed in fuzzy bright pink lingerie.

As she carefully erects her pose in a snowy white lounge chair, her audience readies themselves at tables, now cluttered with sketch paper, drawing utensils and drinks from the bar. This week’s session is about to begin.

Welcome to Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art school, the alternative and delightfully provocative art venue that offers an escape from the conventional art world etiquette for something more along the lines of an Andy Warhol party.

Founded in 2005 by model/artist Molly Crabapple, Dr. Sketchy’s features a burlesque-style, less stuffy approach to art, hosting female models who pose for fervent sketch artists until they run out of clothes to take off.

Dr. Sketchy’s currently has over 100 branches globally. One is at The Sinclair, an offhand bar in downtown Jacksonville.

Every other Tuesday of the month — starting Feb. 15 — there will be a new theme and a different model, said event manager and emcee Christopher Farrell, aka Edward Mourningwood.

This is not a smutty exhibit at which anxious voyeurs may leer, said Joy Smith, aka Belladonna Nightshade, costume and set designer for Dr. Sketchy’s since 2009.

The presentation is meant to be sensual and classy, and above all else, the models are to be respected.

That means not showing up with the intention of “making it rain,” fellas.

The people and the environment are the most important aspects of Dr. Sketchy’s, Smith said.

“It’s better than your traditional art classes because people can drink beer, listen to music and talk amongst themselves,” she said.

There’s also fun drawing contests even amateurs have a shot at winning – not to mention the occasional free shots of sake.

At Dr. Sketchy’s, it’s all about having fun learning how to draw in your own style, Smith said.

“Here, there are no rules,” she said.

Dr. Sketchy’s is proud to offer something new for artists, Smith said, and people have become better artists as a result because they have so much to work with.

It’s always a different theme, a different model, set and costume, she said.

Mark Lepecheur and his girlfriend Amanda Langenbach, two UNF graphic design seniors, went to Dr. Sketchy’s for their first time Jan. 18.

“It’s interesting,” said Lepecheur, drawing curiously. “I haven’t drawn in a while, but this is a good way to get back into it.”

Langenbach said she appreciated getting her hands dirty instead of doing art on a computer.

“It also helps having a live model and a community of artists that you can bounce ideas off of,” she said.

Which brings us back to the real talent, 25-year-old FSCJ student Eva Mathews, aka Lil Miss Tittens.

Mathews joined the cast of models in June, along with LaMuse, Anita Nightcap and others.

“I enjoy the feeling of being on stage performing for artists and dressing up like a doll,” she said. “I’ve always been into performing and being the center of attention.”

After the show, Mathews said it’s exciting when she gets to see the various sketches done of her.

“Some of them I want to keep,” she said.

The models are also the highest paid, Smith said, who steps in as a model when needed. And they are always looking for more models.

It is worth mentioning that the models are never entirely nude. They always have on bottoms, and their nipples are covered with pasties; so there’s no need to be prude.

Still, nudity is nothing of which to be ashamed, Smith said.

“People have been drawing the human form since drawing could be done.”

The next show isn’t until Feb. 15 at 7 p.m., but from then on, there will be a show every other Tuesday.

At $6 a head ($8 for those that just want to gawk) artists of any caliber, 21+, may come and enjoy a unique experience, have a drink, listen to good music and embrace the utter beauty of the female form.

For more information on Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art school, check out the Jacksonville branch at drsketchy.com/branch/jacksonville.

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