Saturday, February 26, 2011

Global summit of sketchers in Lisbon

(Banner and logo design by Mário Linhares. Sketch by Lapin.)

Urban Sketchers' first Symposium took place in Portland last year and the countdown has started for the second one. It will be in Lisbon July 21-23 (Sign up for updates at the Symposium site.) Perhaps I'll meet some readers of this blog there. I'm looking forward to it!

Below is the press release, share it with your sketching pals!



The Portuguese capital of Lisbon will be the host city of the 2nd International Urban Sketching Symposium July 21-23, 2011. This 3-day event is organized by Urban Sketchers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the art of on-location drawing.

The Symposium will consist of hands-on sketching workshops around the historic city center and panels and lectures which will take place at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon (FBAUL.) The school is centrally located in the historic district of Chiado, within walking distance of major Lisbon attractions like Largo do Chiado, Largo Luís de Camões and Praça do Rossio, among others.

The sketching workshops will be led by a top-notch team of local and international artists including, among others, Eduardo Salavisa, José Louro, João Catarino, Pedro Cabral and Richard Câmara, authors of the book of sketches “Diários de Viagem em Lisboa,” which was just published last December by Editorial Quimera.

"Lisbon is a very attractive city for artists," says local artist and Symposium organizer Eduardo Salavisa. "Because of its luminosity, clear skies and hills that offer unexpected views of the river Tagus, Lisbon is ideal for sketching."

Among this year’s panel of international instructors and speakers are: author and professor Frank Ching (Seattle), artist and historian Ruth Rosengarten (Stamford, UK), architects Asnee Tasna (Bangkok) and Norberto Dorantes (Buenos Aires), and artists and illustrators Nina Johansson (Stockholm), Marc Holmes (Montreal), Cathy Gatland (South Africa), and Melanie Reim (New York City).

“With the Symposiums, our goal is to call attention to the art of urban sketching and give participants who may only know each other online an organized forum where they can meet in person and learn from each other in the field,” said Urban Sketchers founder Gabriel Campanario, a Spanish journalist and illustrator based in Seattle, USA.

The Lisbon Symposium is the second annual event organized by the Urban Sketchers nonprofit. The first symposium was held in Portland, Oregon, last July and it was hosted by Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Portland Symposium instructor Matthew Brehm said sharing sketches on line is an effective way of learning and making connections, but face-to-face time is where the real learning and connecting takes place on a much deeper level. “The enthusiasm and good spirits of all those who attended the workshops in Portland was completely energizing.”

Our instructor from Asia Tia Boon Sim said her work is about her spontaneous response to the immediate surroundings. “At the last symposium in Portland, the people I met, places I went, objects I saw and activities I witnessed, excited me. I had a wonderful and unique experience far away from home. With each and everyone in our own artistic field, we came together and showed the world what sketching on location is all about.”

Here’s what some urban sketchers who attended last year’s Symposium had to say:

“Since the Portland Symposium, I’ve been seeing my city anew. It’s full of untold stories waiting to be found and sketching is a way to get there. I was surprised by how much our energy became amplified when we all got together. Just three days seems like it triggered some major transformations – not just of our art skills and styles, but of practice, attitude, diligence, and receptivity.”
Kalina Wilson
Portland, Oregon

"Intense, powerful, a great energizer! A definite summer break for many years to come, it felt like I was catching up with old friends who I have been following up through their blogs for months and finally decided to sketch together."
Orling "Arty" Domínguez
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

“The symposium here was such a rich, inspiring experience for me. I’ve sketched all my life, but not always on a regular basis. Being around people from all over the world who were so enthusiastic in sharing their sketching experiences was just what I needed to ‘rev my artistic engine’! Can’t say enough about what a positive experience it was, on all counts.”
Linda Engstrom
Portland, Oregon

"Three days going out to draw with talented urban sketchers from around the world was an absolute joy.”
Don McNulty
Vancouver, Canada

(Symposium logo design by Mário Linhares)


Gabriel Campanario:
Eduardo Salavisa:
Attendance questions and sponsorship opportunities:
Symposium website:
Urban Sketchers site:


  1. Lisbon is a great spot for urban sketching with its mix of modern and European architecture.

  2. It's wonderful that Lisbon is making efforts to improve Urban Sketching by making a symposium.

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