Tonight: Dr. Sketchy’s (Rather Raunchy) Anti-Art School


Neighbor Laurie Wigham, subcommandante of the Bernal Heights watercoloristas, brings word about a saucy lil’ event for artists happening tonight at the Principality of Chicken John:

Did you know that San Francisco’s coolest (hottest?), sexiest, silliest and most-fun life drawing group meets in (where else but) Bernal Heights? Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School started in New York city but has spread all over the world, from New Zealand to Nashville, and has been meeting in our neighborhood for three years.

The models are an ever-changing parade of wildly costumed characters, including performers from the New Burlesque movement, aerialists, acrobats, yogis, Aztec dancers—and even the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. There’s a strong commitment to celebrating SF’s diverse local culture and community.

Dr Sketchy’s happens at Chicken John’s Warehouse on Cesar Chavez, near Mission. It meets every other Tuesday, 7-10 pm, and the next one is September 15th. The model will be Eva Von Slut, rock ’n roll singer for Thee Merry Widows and White Barons. $15 at the door. Anyone 21+ is welcome

Tuesday, September 15, 7-10 pm
Chicken John’s Warehouse/SF Institute of Possibility
3359 Cesar Chavez St (@Mission)

Read more about the local branch, here.
Check out the Facebook group, here.
And the Flickr group, here.


PHOTO: A Dr. Sketchy SF event, via Neighbor Laurie

10 thoughts on “Tonight: Dr. Sketchy’s (Rather Raunchy) Anti-Art School

    • I completely agree, Maureen. The fact this appeared on Bernalwood at all shows that what was once eccentric, artistic, and ribald–or *totally normal* in the SF so many of us knew not so long ago–now seemingly needs to be lifted from beneath a bushel basket to be recognized as existing. Especially most things dealing with art and community are fast becoming endangered in Bernal (and the Mission). I hope Chicken John owns that space–and if he does that he doesn’t sell to a developer who will make something for a few millionaires to move into.

      Since this activity is so interesting, I do applaud the notice it has gotten on the blog. But I just wonder who cares about it, in today’s Bernal.

      • There is a great deal of culture happening in Bernal, in a great variety of flavors. One of the things I admire most about Chicken John is that he creates the culture he wants to enjoy, rather than complaining about it.

      • And it’s not that difficult to put on stuff. I put on two live music shows a week at the Atlas Cafe (jazz on Friday and blues on Saturday, both free), and I put on two board game events (Friday in he Mission; Sunday afternoon in the Richmond district).

  1. Kudos to Chicken for starting the SFIOP and keeping his stuff going. He presents a wide range of events in his space. Get on the mailing list. Meanwhile, I get invited to all kinds of events, usually involving odd music with the occasional fire acts and trapeze thrown in. This past weekend there was a large party/bacchanalia that lasted from Friday through Monday, complete with a 2-story water slide and lots of nekkid people flouncing around. But hearing about this kind of stuff requires that you get to know LOTS of people. You’re not going find out about this stuff in SF Weekly or the Chron. For one, organizers of these things don’t want the general public; they want their friends. So, become a friend! That’s how it works. That’s how it’s always worked.

    Did I ever talk about the time a friend and I crashed an “A” list Gavin Newsom partY? Well, we’ll save that for another time. You just gotta go out and meet people!

  2. Using the word “complain” here–and in other situations–suggests some act of unwelcome grousing, of someone stamping their feet on the ground in bitter frustration. Such language is dismissive and lazy–the throwaway refuse of weary Internet puking–and does not constitute an articulate reaction, nor one that responds clearly what is happening before our eyes, no matter how glazed over by the “sexiness” of Bernal.

    A comment like mine (and Maureen’s) is an observation (not a “complaint”) about how San Francisco in general (and Bernal/Mission) has lost a great deal of what made it an interesting and welcoming place, and one where people of creativity (and modest means) can gather to live. Is this a perspective that is even debatable, in 2015? Almost anything can be termed “culture”–a piano on a hillside, a new place selling pickles, another pricey restaurant. These are all fine, but no one can seriously think that we live in as culturally interesting or vibrant place now as a decade or two ago.

    In terms of “culture,” “The Change” brings about very uneven, usually negative, results. Artists are among the first victims of, say, the real estate boom that has essentially made many in Bernal millionaires almost overnight. When such dollar signs are within reach, the outflow of folks who simply cannot keep up is dizzying. Many of them are the lifeblood of creativity for a community. They are not replaced by other artists, no matter how much someone wants to stammer that they are.

    l completely agree that it is great that Chicken John puts on such activities, as I have attended a few of these drawing sessions myself. It is great that such events can be held in an environment–especially an economic one–that is increasingly hostile to the spirit that makes them possible. One can lament (not merely “complain” about) something without being needled about how to fix it, as not everyone is in a position to medicate an issue. This is like the folks who tell people who “complain” about rent in Bernal that they should just be quiet and buy a house. It’s insensitive, but it’s even more stupid. How much Kool Aid does one have to drink to buy into trickle-down economics or Randianism? In Bernal, merely drops, it is becoming increasingly clear.

    When Precita Eyes very likely loses its studio–a place that has become the object of vehement disgust to many Bernalwood readers who never gave it a thought before the post about it a few weeks ago–very few people who are new to Bernal will bat an eye or shed a tear. But that’s the loss of an artistic and cultural institution, regardless if people agree or disagree with the organization’s strategy to try to hang on to the space, and no matter with how much force people kick its supporters in the behind in the “good riddance”-ness that envelopes every hyperventilating Reagan Democrat from Alemany to Cesar Chavez.

    Are more such places popping up in the hood? No, and those places do not come back (at least not during our lifetimes). For this reason and others, I am happy that Chicken John is chugging along. Someday, he may among the last in SF holding up a flag in SF that represents a notion of pure joy and folly and creativity that made the City great once. It’s a sensibility that will probably be lost permanently, and people will not know where it has gone.

    • “. This is like the folks who tell people who “complain” about rent in Bernal that they should just be quiet and buy a house. It’s insensitive, but it’s even more stupid.”

      This reminds me of how my wife inevitably get upset when I try to offer solutions (too quickly) when she talks about problems, unpleasantries, complaints, etc. I later learned that most times people just want to vent, and are not looking for me to help.

      • Complaining does no good. The only way to keep prices from going up is NOT to buy. But what do people do? They not only are willing to pay full price, but they’s in such an emotional frenzy that they BID UP prices! Don’t people know how to negotiate? There is NO once-in-a-lifetime deal. I’m prepared to walk away from any deal, and I have. This is why I’m still paying less than $1900 a month for a 3-bedroom, which includes PG&E. Buyers likewise. If enough buyers got up and walked away from deals, leaving the seller stranded to find another deal, you can BET that home sales prices would come down.

    • Thank you! I really appreciate what you’ve said here.

      Most especially, “Almost anything can be termed “culture”–a piano on a hillside, a new place selling pickles, another pricey restaurant. ”

      Thank you, Otis!

      And long live Chicken John!

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