Friday, February 28, 2020

NYC Urban Sketchers Trip to Albany June 7-10, 2020

News York State Capitol

New York's Capitol City has a wealth of museums, landmarks and heritage sites, the perfect inspiration for Urban Sketchers. Many of the historic structures in Albany are considered architectural marvels and are filled with artistic treasures. Join us as we explore Albany to sketch in the footsteps of Alexander Hamilton and the Roosevelts and learn about the area's storied past through art.


We have secured a limited block of rooms reserved for $109.00 (plus taxes) at the Holiday Inn Express, 300 Broadway, Albany. This price is good for 3 days before June 7 and 3 days after June 10, so take advantage and extend your trip! To guarantee this rate, please make your reservation by April 15th by calling 518-434-4111. Use our Group code: URB. The hotel is located one block from the bus depot and is a walk-able distance to downtown. A shuttle service is also available. Check in 3 PM, check-out 11 AM.


There is no cost for our sketching events. They are free and open to all sketchers.
Because our schedule is flexible, you can join us for one or more days. Feel free to bring a guest.

The Egg

Day 1. SUNDAY, June 7.
Travel on your own from New York and Westchester in the AM to arrive in Albany around noon time. After lunch, spend the afternoon sketching the Empire State Plaza area, and/or the Albany Museum of History and Art. Have dinner around 6 PM. Show and Tell in the Holiday Inn breakfast room.

Empire State Plaza

Day 2. MONDAY, June 8. Sketch the New York State Capitol Building and Empire State Plaza area for the day. Some Albany Urban Sketchers may join us.
Show and Tell in the Holiday Inn breakfast room.

  Day 3. TUESDAY, June 9. Travel to New Berlin, NY to visit the Golden Artist Colors Factory for a tour, two workshops and most likely giveaways. While there is no cost for the factory tour, it is 2.5 hours from Albany so we will hire a school bus to take all of us. Cost is $55 per person (Lunch included). 
NOTE: We will need a FIRM COMMITMENT so we can plan accordingly.
Our schedule for the day:
  • Leave Albany at 8 AM and arrive at the factory by approximately 10:30 AM.
  • After a meet and greet, take a tour of the factory. 
  • Around 12:30 PM, have lunch, brought in from a local restaurant. 
  • Following lunch we will have two workshops. One will be on watercolor and the other on dry media drawing implements such as refillable gel pens, markers and acrylic inks. We will also be shown how to use grounds to prepare various papers.
  • Return to Albany in time for dinner.

Day 4. WEDNESDAY, June 10
. Check out of hotel by 11 AM. 
Possible sites for optional sketching without a schedule:
New York Capitol Building (Mon.-Fri., 7 AM to 7 PM)
Albany New York State Museum (Open every day except Mon.)
Albany Institute of History and Art (Open Wed.-Sat., 10 -5 and Sun. 12 to 5 PM)
Irish American Cultural Museum (2 blocks form the hotel)

Day 5. THURSDAY, June 11. For those who stay an extra day, possible sites include Saratoga Springs, Schuyler Mansion, Dutch Reformed Church, USS Slater and all of the above.

DON'T WAIT! Sign up today!
If you have already expressed your interest, or would like to join us for this trip, please RSVP with the following information as soon as possible but no later than March 13 to Marianne Milzoff at so that we can finalize our plans for this trip. There will be a follow up notice with a more detailed itinerary and information for those interested in going.

Phone number
Coming from
By Bus, Car or Train
Are you willing to carpool?
Will you be staying at the Holiday Inn Express ($109.00 + taxes per night)
How many nights?
Would you like to share a room?
Will you be taking the tour to The Golden Artist Colors Factory on Tuesday ($55 per person)?
NOTE: We need a firm commitment (no refunds) in order to secure the bus.

Prepare for your visit
- view the official 2020 Discover Albany Visitor Guide online or request one by mail at

Thursday, February 27, 2020

SATURDAY: Sketch Southeby's

The famed international auction house is the site for our Saturday sketch this week.  You'll be surrounded by beautiful objects and interesting customers.  There's always something fabulous to sketch at Sotheby's


What:  We'll be sketching at the Southeby's on Saturday, February 29, 2020

Where:  Southeby's is located at 1334 York Ave, between East 71 St and 72nd.

When:   Meet on the ground floor at 10:30 AM.  There's a coat check.  After that we'll be fanning out to the different floors and collections. Anyone with a sketchbook is undoubtably a fellow Urban Sketcher.

How:  The East 72 Street stop on the Q line is the closest subway stop.

Lunch:  Meet at the Southeby's cafeteria at 12:30 for lunch. Bring your sketchbook the views are wonderful.  If the weather permits there's an outdoor terrace we can enjoy

Afternoon: 1:15 PM Back to sketching the Southeby's collection.

Show and Tell3:00 PM This is the social part of our day where we will share drawings and good stories.  Location to be determined.

-  Southeby's has been very friendly to sketching in the past.  Obey the guards.
-  Bring a folding stool if you have one - it gives you more options.

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Monday, February 24, 2020

MONDAY: Westchester Sketchers to visit the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation Art Collection

William Louis Dreyfus

The late businessman William Louis-Dreyfus spent his life amassing a gigantic trove of more than 3,000 artworks, starting with a Wassily Kandinsky watercolor in 1965, and the passion for collecting ran through him until he died in 2016, at the age of 84. He had a special interest in Outsider Art.

The Louis-Dreyfus Foundation's art collection is made up of pieces by self-taught and contemporary artists such as James Castle, Rackstraw Downes, Red Grooms, Bill Traylor, Thornton Dial, and Nellie Mae Rowe. Over 200 artists are featured in the Foundation's collection, all collected by its benefactor.


DATE: MONDAY, March 2, 2020

LOCATION: William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation, 211 Kisco Avenue, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549.
The entrance to the facility is located via a short path at the far side of the parking lot.
Before our visit, you may like to familiarize yourself with the collection by visiting

Take Metro North Railroad from Grand Central Terminal to the Mt. Kisco Station via the Harlem Line. Please call Marianne (914) 355-6507 to arrange for pick-up.

START TIME: Please arrive by 10:45 AM, so we will be ready to start our tour at 11:00 AM.
If you are running late, please notify the Foundation by calling 914 864-1425.

A staff member will meet us at the main entrance at the designated start time. There will be a short introduction to the collection followed by a tour highlighting some of the key works and artists. We will have time at the end of the tour for independent viewing and sketching.

LUNCH: Food and drinks are not permitted, so we will have lunch at the Mt Kisco Diner, 252 E Main Street.

SHOW and TELL: This is the social part of our day where we share our drawings, tips, and stories. It is a time not to be missed. We will do show and tell either at the Foundation or the Diner.

  • Admission is free.
  • Parking, while ample, is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • If possible, secure coats and personal items in your vehicle prior to entering the building.
  • Coats, and other personal belongings brought into the building will be stored in the coatroom before the start of the tour.
  • Pencils only - no pens or markers.
  • Limited seating available. Bring a stool if you have one. 

Please RSVP to Cathy ( We will provide an attendee list to the Foundation.

Looking for us?
Call/text: Cathy at (914) 625-0766 or Marianne at (914) 355-6507.

There are no fees. All drawing skill levels are welcome. 

Mark you calendars for these UPCOMING EVENTS:

Monday, March 9th - Mamaroneck Artists Guild, Larchmont, NY
Wednesday, April 1st - New York Public Library, 42nd Street, NYC
Friday, April 17th - Clay Arts Center, Port Chester, NY
Thursday, April 30th - The Cloisters, Bronx, NY

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Weekday Sketchers Visit a Private Library

In a city with arguable the most celebrated library system, New Yorkers still think it is not enough.  Come with us this week as we visit one of the private libraries in the city: The New York Society Library. Opened in 1754, the library is housed in a beautiful townhouse on 79th St.  While most of the building is closed to the public, we will have the opportunity to tour the building, see the current exhibit  "The Book Beautiful: Margaret Armstrong and Her Bindings" and then sketch the public rooms, arched stairwell and upper galleries.  

For more about the library, click here:

The New York Society Library - Entrance (

Willa Cather Exhibit at The New York Society Library (

The New York Society Library - Circulation (
NYSL: Entrance Hall, Stairway

You may bring a stool but please work in "non-spillable" media.  There is no food allowed in the building.  Following our drawing session we will gather for a throw-down then have lunch outside the building.  You may return to the building to continue drawing or relocate to another venue.

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call/text Raylie at 201-978-6387



                      53 EAST 79TH STREET (btw 5th Ave and Madison Ave)

TRANSPORTATION:  6 Train to 77th St.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Weekday Sketchers Schedule March & April

In an effort to help you plan your time so that you can attend as many events as possible, here is the schedule for March and April 2020.  Please note. There might be adjustments made, especially to the venues for various reasons.  Please watch the weekly postings for the most current information

NOTE:  We will be tracking the cherry blossom blooms around the city for April. Schedule changes will be made to accommodate peak blooming times. 


Tuesday March 3,                Jewish Museum (Rachel Feinstein Exhibit )

Thursday March 12,            Brooklyn Museum (Jacques-Lewis David Meets Kehinde Wiley) 

Wednesday March 18,         Special Event: Sketch Surrogate Court Lobby 31 Chambers St

Wednesday March 25         NY Public Library of Performing Arts (Harold Prince Exhibit) plus            
                                             Juilliard Concert


Wednesday April 1               NY Public Library Main Branch (Made in NYPL exhibit)

Thursday April 9                   Possible Cherry Blossom sketch 

Wednesday April 15              Lower Manhattan Sketch Crawl (courts, City Hall etc.) 

Wednesday April 22               Earth Day Celebration: TBD

Thursday April 30                 Cloisters 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Saturday: Sketch the Central Park Zoo

This event will be hosted by Alan Wernicke

You've sketched the dioramas at the Museum of Natural History – now try some live animals!  And you can use any medium you like, no concern about watercolors at the zoo.

The Central Park Zoo is part of an effort to save wildlife that began 120 years ago with the creation of the New York Zoological Society, an organization founded on science and hope which has since grown to become the Wildlife Conservation Society.

This video is from a sketch trip to the zoo from six years ago:


WhereCentral Park Zoo, entrance behind the Arsenal, 64th and 5th Avenue  (see map below)

When:  Start at 10 a.m.  Meet by the entrance to the zoo, before going in.  Running late?  Meet us any time, we'll be there!  Anyone with a sketch book is either with NYC Urban Sketchers, ... or they should be!

Lunch:  12:00 PM at the Dancing Crane Café, which is the zoo's cafeteria.  If you want a healthy meal, you might bring your own – they offer kid-oriented stuff, hamburgers, chicken fingers, pizza.  But they do sell Smithsonian-certified, organic, fair trade, bird-friendly coffee, which smelled pretty good.

Afternoon:  1:00 PM  - Back to sketching the critters or whatever else you want.

Show and Tell:  3:00 PM back at the Dancing Crane to share drawings, good stories and a beverage or snack of your choice.

-   Bring a stool.  It gives you more options

-  Admission to the zoo is $14 for adults, $11 for seniors.  They do not accept the American Alliance of Museums membership – only Wildlife Conservation Society and NYC Museum Council memberships.

-  Regular ($14) admission to the zoo does not allow you to go out and come back in.

-  There is a "total experience" admission for $20.  It gets you admission to the regular zoo, the children's zoo and the theater, and also lets you go in and out.  They really push it, and that's the only kind of ticket you can get on line or from the ticket machines at the zoo.  For the normal ticket, you have to go to the ticket window.

-  The Dancing Crane Café is accessible both from inside and outside the zoo, is very nicely heated, and has bathrooms.  (They check to ensure that people don't go through to enter the zoo without paying.)

-  The zoo has a number of indoor areas as well as outdoor scenes to sketch.

Click to Enlarge

If you can’t find us
call or text Alan at (917) 685-5748

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Weekday Sketchers Celebrate Black History Month at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Join us as we celebrate Black History Month by sketching the Met's newly opened exhibit  
Sehel Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara.

This exhibit traces the people who lived just south of the Sahara from 300 AD to the mid 1800's, where they ruled and traded with civilizations around the world.  It will be interesting to observe how time and events, such as the rise of Islam and the slave trade influenced their art. With more than 200 objects in wood, clay, metal and ceramics gathered from private collections and museums, we should have a wonderful day filling our sketchbooks!

Because we can't run out of things to sketch at the Met, join us even if this is not your preferred genre of art.  Sketch anywhere and join us for lunch to share a meal and your work. 

Equestrian, Bamana peoples, Bougouni District, Ouassabo, Mali (19th–20th century). Photo by Peter Zeray, ©the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Text/call Raylie at 201-978-6387.  Bring a stool and be prepared to work with dry materials. Bring lunch or purchase it in the cafeteria where we will gather to do our throw-down.



                NOTE: We will meet in the main hall an proceed to the exhibit at 10:15  If you arrive later, just look for us in the exhibit hall.

                         1000 5TH AVENUE AT 82ND ST

TRANSPORTATION:  4, 5, 6 to 86th St. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

SATURDAY: Sketch the Noble Maritime Collection

Many thanks to Julie Kessler 
once again for suggesting an 
interesting place we've never visited.

"John Noble made his art in a houseboat studio that he cobbled together, Frankenstein’s Monster-like, out of sundry boat bits and bobs over years.  The Collection acquired his studio, restored it beautifully, and moved the whole thing into a room in the building, where you can peek inside.

'This museum suffers from a misleading name.  I walked into the Noble Maritime Collection expecting a dark basement full of dusty old nautical stuff, with a stuffy aristocratic bent. Instead, the collection occupies three light-filled, airy, beautifully restored floors of Building D at Sailors’ Snug Harbor."

'The founding of Sailor’s Snug Harbor is a great story, involving none other than the ubiquitous Alexander Hamilton.  Robert Richard Randall left a bequest to found what eventually became Snug Harbor in his will in 1801.  Hamilton was the family lawyer.  According to the lore, Randall wasn’t sure what to do with his fortune, and Ham asked him from whence it came.  Randall said from his father, who got it through “honest privateering.”  And Ham said, effectively, that if his fortune came from the sea, it should return there. 

'So the idea of a home for old, worn-out, and decrepit sailors was born.  They originally were going to put it on Randall’s property in Manhattan, but Manhattan property values being what they were, ultimately opted to use the property to generate income, and put the sailors somewhere where land was cheaper.  Snug Harbor opened in Staten Island in 1831."
Quoted from Joe Lazlo's GothamJoe website

What:  Sketch the Noble Maritime Collection in Snug Harbor, Staten Island.

Where:  Snug Harbor, in Building D.

When:   Saturday February 15th, 2020.  Meet at 11:00 AM at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal  -


  • From Manhattan take the Staten Island Ferry from the Whitehall Terminal/South Ferry, which is a short walking distance from the 1, 9, 4, 5, N, R subway lines.  
  • Once we arrive at the ferry terminal in Staten Island we'll take the S40 bus via Ramp D for two miles and exit at Snug Harbor.  
  • The museum opens at noon.

Lunch:  Since we're starting at noon bring your own food.  It's a long walk to stores and restaurants.

Show and Tell:  3:00 PM Location to be determined.  This is the social part of our day where we will share drawings and good stories.


-  Bring a folding stool if you have one - it gives you more options.

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Weekday Sketchers go to Court on Tuesday

Courtroom sketching has a long tradition. NYC Urban Sketchers will experience it two ways this Tuesday.   First we will meet in Criminal Court for the morning session where we can sketch the comings and goings of a busy courtroom.  Lots of opportunity to capture people as the police, court officers, attorneys and the judge handle the arraignment of those arrested for various reasons over the past few hours. 

When the court breaks for lunch, we will walk over to the Moynihan Federal Courthouse to view the exhibit of courtroom sketches by women artist on display.  There are about 125 sketches of federal cases, many of which you will remember and recognize.  For anyone who has tried to capture the essence of the action in the courtroom, this is a must see exhibit. Here is a link to an article about the exhibit:

There will be an optional afternoon sketch session at a trial in one of the courtrooms in the building. 

Manhattan's mental health court will be held at 100 Centre Street, where most of the criminal docket is already handled.
Criminal Court 100 Center Street 


STARTING TIME: 10:00 AM. (the court is in session from 8:00AM, feel free to come anytime you want) 

                       100 CENTER ST, Manhattan 

NOTE:  When you enter the building ask for directions to the Arraignment Courtrooms on the first floor.  The two courtrooms are in the rear of the building.   You can work in either one. 

TRANSPORTATION: 4, 5 to Brooklyn Bridge, 6 to Canal

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Text Raylie at 201-978-687.   

PLEASE NOTE:   Coming into the building you will go through metal detectors. Do not bring a camera, knife or other sharp objects. We are observers in the courtroom,  you must be silent and phones must be off.  These are criminal proceedings. Some of the cases can be upsetting. 

You can sit in the gallery and sketch, You can use watercolors...discreetly.   No need to bring a stool.  At 1:00 when the court breaks for lunch we will meet in the hall in front of the courtrooms.  We can get a quick bite to eat in the small cafe in the courthouse (or bring your own).  We can then walk over to the Moynihan Courthouse to see the exhibit. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

SATURDAY: Sketch Hearst Tower

NYC Urban Sketchers visits the Heart Tower.

The six-story base of the headquarters building was commissioned by the founder, William Randolph Hearst (Citizen Kane). The building was completed in 1928.  That original cast stone facade has been designated a Landmark site.  However the stone base was never the complete vision.  The intention was alway to build a grand tower above that base.  Then the Great Depression of 1929 happened and all those plans were abandoned.

Eighty years later the tower was completed.  The architectural challenge was how to integrate a modern looking green high-rise with the art deco base.  It was quite a challenge, and it created an artistic conversation that continues to this day.  Was the integration successful?  What is undeniaible is that the new interior of the tower is breath taking ... and closed to the public.  We recieved special permission to sketch the gorgeous interior because one of our sketchers is a Hearst executive.

Hearst Tower is the first "green" high-rise office building completed in New York City, with a number of environmental considerations built into the plan. The floor of the atrium is paved with heat conductive limestone. Rain collected on the roof is stored in a tank in the basement for use in the cooling system, to irrigate plants and for the water sculpture in the main lobby.

The atrium features escalators which run through a 3-story water sculpture titled Icefall, a wide waterfall built with thousands of glass panels, which cools and humidifies the lobby air.


What:  Sketch the Hearst Tower

Where:  300 West 57th St.  NYC meet in the lobby by the security desk.

When:   Meet at 10 AM 

How:  By Subway.
The Columbus Circle Stop of the A,C B, D or the 1 train, or go to the
57 Street Stop using the N,Q,R,W subway.

Lunch:  12:00 - 1:15  Bring your own or purchase food at The Turnstyle:  under the Hearst building in the subway corridor.  It's a modern market in a subway station featuring independent shops & vendors for food, coffee & sweets.  There are also many shops in the Columbus Circle area to buy food.  We'll eat together in the tower.

Afternoon:  1:30 - 3:00 - Back sketching at the Hearst Building -

Show and Tell:  3:00 at the same location where we ate lunch  This is the social time of the day where we will share drawings, good stories and maybe even talk about art supplies.


-  Bring a folding stool if you have one - it gives you more options.
Be very careful of the limestone floors. our art materials can be staining.  Be extra careful.
-  Our Host and Event Coordinator is Leslie Sim in case you are asked by a guard.

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128
or Leslie 516-633-2340

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Weekday Sketchers at Essex St Market on Wednesday

Did you know....that the original Essex St Market was built in the 1930 by Mayor LaGuardia in an effort to clear the congested streets of the Lower East Side of the many pushcarts selling produce and  dry goods.  Moving these vendors indoors into a sanitary facility was a major event in the city's development. But over the years the buildings deteriorated and the shops decreased in volume and value.  A recent move into the newly built Essex Crossing complex on Delancey and Essex Streets has reinvigorated the market, creating a vibrant shopping and eating experience in an area of the city seeing a new regeneration of businesses and residences. 

Join us for a colorful and delicious day of Urban Sketching as we explore the Market and the many stalls now housed in the building. Take a seat at a table on the upper level that will provide a great vantage point for a panoramic view of the complex.  OR, get right down into it and come up close to the food and patrons that create a very colorful mix for us to draw.

Added bonus:  be there by 11:00 for a "Fresh Bites" cooking demo ....with samples. 

A huge food hall with floor-to-ceiling windows and a top floor of dining area

Essex Market

Davidovich Bakery at Essex Market

Viva Fruits & Vegetables at Essex Market

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call/text Raylie at 201-978-6387.  There is seating on the upper level that you can use.  Please note the the market hall can be crowded so if you bring a stool to work near the vendor booths be prepared to be asked not to use it.

Bring your lunch if you want, but with all those goodies....why bother!!   In addition to the food vendors, there are also restaurants (including the newly reinstalled infamous Shopsins!) where you can purchase ready made lunches.  For more information about the market, click here:



                       88 Essex St at the corner of Essex and Delancey Streets

NOTE:  Come in and start sketching.  We will meet for lunch at 12:30 on the upper level. 

TRANSPORTATION: J, M, Z to Essex St.  F to Delancey St