Artists from American River College and the community join together once a week in room 510 of the Fine and Applied Arts building to participate in Figure Friday, an open life workshop that aims to help artists refine their creative abilities and technique by sketching a nude model.
Figure Friday has been a weekly event at American River College for about eight years and has benefited from increased attendance since its creation.
Diane Baxter, one of Figure Friday’s regular models, has been modeling since the 70s, and has seen numerous changes in the world of modeling since then.
“I started modeling when I was 18. When I first began, nudity wasn’t accepted,” said Baxter.
Baxter has modeled in the past in cities such as Monterey, San Francisco, and even at Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum. Her fame as a model has brought artists and fans from all around the world to see her. Most people recognize her from “The Diane Show,” a since gone recurring live show centered around Baxter.
Figure Friday is hosted and operated by Jackie Costa. Costa started out as a volunteer when she first began helping with the production of Figure Friday, and she now continues passionately working in a paid position as the host of this artistic venture.
“I love hosting but it’s not as relaxing as it used to be. It’s like throwing a party at your house. You want to make sure everyone is comfortable and having a good time,” said Costa.
While Figure Friday may be a lively and beneficial experience, there are procedures that still apply. Organization and respect are two of the most important key aspects stressed when attending Figure Friday.
Every model who’s being drawn has their own set of rules that go along with the school’s rules as well. For example, if a student wants to get closer to a model to catch sight of more detail then they must ask for permission to get closer.
Models tend to regularly hold poses between two-15 minutes long. On occasion models will hold 20 minute poses so artists have more time to complete their sketches.
ARC student Kiichi Koga said he has definitely benefitted from the experience. “I’ve been attending Figure Friday for a year now. Coming here is one of the best ways for me to practice my drawing skills.”
Other Los Rios colleges such as Sacramento City College and Cosumnes River College also have their own forms of Figure Friday.
When you feel the urge to draw, sketch, or paint, remember that Figure Friday will be taking place the entire fall semester between 2:30-5:30 p.m., and costs $5. If creating visual art is a passion of yours, Figure Friday can help train you in sketching the human anatomy.