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Urban sketchers outline heritage landscape in Odisha’s temple city

In a novel endeavour, Bhubaneswar Chapter of Urban Sketchers embarked on a drive today to capture the urban characteristics of the heritage landscape in Bhubaneswar, Odisha’s capital city.

The dedicated bunch of volunteers, comprising artists, architects and students are part of a global community of sketchers, who would get on to on-location drawing every Sunday morning.

The mission commenced today 17 April ’17 drawing appreciation from heritage lovers.

The mission of Urban Sketchers is to raise the artistic storytelling and educational value of on-location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel.

During its first encounter with urban sketching, the 10-member group, consisting of three practicing architects, five students of architecture, one professor of architecture from School of Architecture, KIIT University and one student of Education participated and sketched Mukteswar-Kedargouri Complex.

“The theme was to capture the urban life elements on the backdrop of the ancient structures,’’ said Swayamprakash Mohanty, moderator of the group in the city. The sketches, produced by the group, were later displayed at Mukteswar Temple precinct for the ``show and tell session.’’

Talking about the bigger plan of the local group of Urban Sketchers, another moderator Nutan Godse said ``the sketches, produced after every Sunday will be preserved and on a special occasion they will be displayed for public viewing either at a park or any public place in the city as we want all must see our city in sketches.’’

“As we store photographs as a record or documents for any occasion, the sketches by the Urban Sketcher group would be conserved and preserved and later could be used to produce the documents on different monuments. These sketches would work as wonderful memories of the monuments and they would be much better than the photographs,’’ said Mohanty.

On the next week’s work of the Urban Sketchers, would be sketching on the banks of Bindusagar. The group will consist of an artists’group of 20 from KIIT School of Architecture. ``We will do sketches of the Bindusagar water front from the Kedar Gouri Lane Square to Old Dharmashala. The aim behind taking the Old Bhubaneswar area as the preliminary focus of the event would be to start from the origin of the modern city from that area,’’ said Godse.

Currently, there are 23 members of the Urban Sketchers Group in Bhubaneswar.  After doing the sketches of the major Old Bhubaneswar locations like Lingaraj, Rajarani, Ekamra Van, Dhauli, Chausathi Yogini, Bhaskareswar, Yameswar, Bakreswar, Chitrakarini, Suka-Sari, Lingaraj Police Station and the Crafts Street along the Samantarapur-Dhauli Road, the sketchers would come to the central part of the planned city in Unit I and Unit II area like the historic police station, Gol Market and other prominent old buildings.

The members of Urban Sketchers maintain a network of blogs and online groups where the fellow members can share their drawings and stories and interact with each other. They partner with organizations such as schools, universities, museums, municipal corporations and trade associations to create events that promote the art of on-location sketching.

They also offer businesses and corporate sponsorship opportunities to reach out to a global audience of people interested in drawing and sketching of the urban behaviour and changes.

In 2007, a global community of Urban Sketchers began to form when Seattle-based journalist and illustrator Gabriel Campanario created an online forum “for all sketchers out there who love to draw the cities where they live and visit, from the window of their homes, from a cafe, at a park, standing by a street corner... always on location, not from photos or memory.”A year later, Campanario invited a group of sketchers to share their drawings and storytelling in a blog, Urban Sketchers, where readers could “See the World, One Drawing at a Time.”  

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