DRAW NYC, an open-air drawing studio

DRAW NYC is an open-air drawing studio, offering access to fine art materials and a place to draw together in public. Designed for New Yorkers of all ages and always free, elements include:

  • high-quality paper, pencils, charcoal, drawing boards, and other tools and materials for drawing; 
  • printed cards with activities conceived by artists and educators;
  • art books;
  • a custom-designed cart that stores, moves, and displays the collection (which can be closed and locked in place), and eight benches for seating;
  • an adjacent “street gallery” displaying drawings made at previous locations, as well as large reproductions of artists’ work provided through a partnership with The Drawing Center;
  • staff to set up and run the program (one program staff member and one manager);
  • teaching artists or Artists-in-Residence at most deployments;
  • an option for hosts, other organizations, or local businesses to participate by adding special activities (e.g. with still-life displays).

Here’s what happens: people approach, sit down, pick up materials, and begin drawing. Some follow artist prompts or are introduced to different techniques and materials (e.g. blending sticks and watercolor pencils) by our staff. Some draw for just a short time, others much longer. People feel good, even proud, while drawing in public, and no matter their skill level, people are transformed into artists. This program has served New Yorkers since 2015.

Help bring drawing to all NYC neighborhoods.

Other ways to get involved:

  • Apply to be an Artist in Residence. Contact us.
  • 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.

2019 Supporters:

DRAW NYC is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Become a sponsor!

 

Blog posts about DRAW NYC:

Pop-up drawing studio for all at Chelsea Market

Pop-up drawing studio for all at Chelsea Market

Our residency at Chelsea Market is in the home stretch as we prepare for our outdoor season! This weekend we gathered around a still life from local shop Chelsea Market Baskets. Catch us one final time in the market next Sunday, April 14, from 11am-2pm. Check our...

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Gathering at Chelsea Market to draw…bread!

Gathering at Chelsea Market to draw…bread!

This weekend we gathered around a still life full of baked goods from Amy's Bread at Chelsea Market. Draw with us every Sunday from 11am-2pm in Chelsea Local through April 14. Check our calendar for details. Made possible by Chelsea Market—see you on Sunday!...

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Drawing and learning about bees at Chelsea Market

Drawing and learning about bees at Chelsea Market

Thanks to the entire clan of Zack & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm for joining us today at Chelsea Market! We gathered around a still life about bees and honey, learned about bee keeping, and tasted some samples. Draw with us every Sunday from 11am-2pm in Chelsea Local on the...

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Residency of DRAW NYC at Chelsea Market extended

Residency of DRAW NYC at Chelsea Market extended

Another great day in Chelsea Market as we gathered around a still life created with local shop Posman Books. Hang out with us every Sunday from 11am-2pm in Chelsea Local on the lower level of the market. We've extended our residency through April 14. Check our...

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Gathering around drawing in Chelsea Market

Gathering around drawing in Chelsea Market

Our residency continued today in Chelsea Market! We gathered around a still life created with Kikkerland Design and were joined by our Artist-in-Residence, Hui Ma, and staff Yifan Wu (artist as well). Find us every Sunday from 11am-2pm in Chelsea Local which is...

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Founding Sponsors:

Fabiola Salmán

Betty Chen &
Peter Coombe

Laura & Robert
Fleder

Romy &
David Cohen

Karen & Dan
Taylor

Evgenia Peretz

We're getting a "new" name... Street Lab.

The Uni Project is the work of Street Lab, a nonprofit launched in 2006 in Boston, where we created community-oriented programs for public space. In 2011, we migrated Street Lab to New York City and launched the Uni Project. The Uni began as a single, portable reading room and has since grown into a city-wide initiative offering more than 700 days of pop-up programming in 150+ public spaces across the city. In 2019, we are re-introducing our original name Street Lab to tie all this work together going forward, with much more to come.

For now, details about our programs are available here on the Uni Project web site. Soon, that content will move to www.streetlab.org. Thanks for sticking with us!