Local musicians, artists jam together at monthly events

ENCINITAS — North County locals packed Encinitas’ own Studio 2nd Street recently for a monthly art event that draws artists of all mediums, including painters and musicians.
The Second Friday Sketch Jam has been held at Studio 2nd Street for more than a year as an opportunity for artists to mingle and do what they do best — create. Locals gathered at 528 Second Street on Jan. 8 and settled in for an evening of sketching, music and refreshments.
“It’s a good opportunity to draw and a really nice place to meet local artists,” said Leucadia resident Jean Krumbein, who was sketching with graphite at the event.
The Lemens introduced the Sketch Night as a more comfortable way to enjoy the gallery and local art for people who would not necessarily check out a typical gallery show. The event began as an intimate gathering in the Lemens’ living room and has since moved to the studio so more people could attend.
“It’s gone over really well and we’ve kept it going,” said Vanessa Lemen, who owns the studio with her husband Ron.
As the event has evolved, it has grown to include a jam session, which was featured at the most recent event. Local musicians perform in front of the crowd and act as inspiration and models for the evening of drawing. So far, the musicians who have played have been spotted by the gallery owners and invited to play or are friends of friends, Lemen said.
“If musicians wanted to play (at a future event), I’d say come to the sketch night and check it out,” Lemen said.
Everyone’s invited to the event, whether a professional artist or a novice looking to check out the local art scene, Lemen said. It’s not just limited to sketching either — artists were also painting and knitting while enjoying the musical performance by Piglette and the Wing-ed Beasts. Special guest (and Lemen’s sister) Shannon Bates joined the jam session to play both saxophone and flute during the course of the evening.
“Everything goes together — music and art,” said Lemen, who played mouth trumpet and also sang.
The Lemens were inspired by their experience at art workshops around the country to create the Sketch Night events. While the Lemens and other artists wanted to get together and create, the workshop environment wasn’t always the appropriate place for it.
“We’d want to hang out, so we’d meet in the hotel lobby or wherever afterward,” Lemen said.
Now, artists can gather at Studio 2nd Street to sketch and hang out every month. For more information about the studio or to learn about upcoming Sketch Jam events, head to www.studio2ndstreet.com.

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