Drawing people together

First Posted: 9/2/2014

For Downtown Go Around this month, artist Ted Michalowski will create a mural on the outside of Everything Natural’s store window – and those who attend the event will be part of the piece.

Michalowski will make a DrawCore mural from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12, allowing volunteers who attend the event to become subjects of the mural. The volunteers will pose and Michalowski will draw on a sheet of mural paper, which will be hung on the window of Everything Natural.

His medium will be a lightfast, waterproof marker and a bit of color sticks. The mural will be split into sections, which will be available for purchase. Keyboard player Chris Gratz will perform outside the store while Michalowski creates the mural.

Michalowski will draw the mural for both performance and an exhibition.

“While artists will often create work for an exhibition in the isolation of a studio, this work is created immediately on the spot,” he said.

Michalowski said that people will not only be able to watch him make the mural but they can pose and be part of the mural, as well.

“People don’t normally see art being created,” said Barry Kaplan, owner of Everything Natural. “And this is a place where they get to experience it and interact and have fun.”

Michalowski’s influences include Toulouse-Lautrec drawing can-can dancers at the Moulin Rouge and Edgar Degas drawing ballet dancers.

“Edgar Degas said, ‘Drawing should be like a conversation,’” Michalowski quoted. “‘There are sentences stopped in the middle. People are interrupted. Thoughts start and stop again as a drawing is.’ So I don’t plot it or plan it. I deliver it immediately.”

Michalowski credits his father for raising him to be athletic, which influenced his artwork.

“In my case, the athletic was a smooth transition into the artistic because drawing this way requires hand-eye coordination as is essential in sports,” he stated.

Michalowski is a roster artist for the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts and a courtroom illustrator for CNN, CBS and The Times Leader. His illustrations and on-the-spot drawings were featured in galleries in New York City, Syracuse, Philadelphia and many venues in Northeast Pennsylvania. His drawings were also featured in the 2013 documentary film “Kids for Cash.” He has created murals such as the one on the outside wall of Carl Von Luger’s Steakhouse in Scranton and a mural at Ebb’s Candy Jar in Tunkhannock.

Michalowski currently hosts drawing socials at the Old Brick Theatre on Market Street in Scranton.

“We’re excited to have Ted return to us,” said Kaplan. “He’s a very energetic person. It going to be a fun and exciting evening. I’m delighted to be hosting it.”

Michalowski will be soon add Everything Natural to his list of venues.

“I’m thrilled to do it,” he said. “I enjoy being in Barry Kaplan’s store and working for him. With Barry and I speaking sincerely about how excited we are to work with each other, that’s a strong element in the event because it requires interaction. It’s not done in isolation. It’s a very friendly way of drawing because I’m talking with people as we draw and meeting people, and most importantly, they meet each other. The purpose of it is to bring people together. So, this does that directly.”

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