Open Figure Drawing and other Regular Events


Wednesday evening Drink-n-Draw, every Wednesday, 6:30-9pm. $15/ $10

Join us for a rotating cast of professional figure models, hailing from backgrounds as diverse as dance, yoga, burlesque and drag. Poses build exponentially from dynamic two-minute gestures to twenty minutes in length. Easels and chairs are available, drawing supplies are on hand; although we encourage you to bring your own favorite materials, the beer is cold and the camaraderie is warm. Characteristic of a tradition started in years prior, we fire up the crock pot beforehand and invite the attendees to stay for a potluck supper to follow.

Sunday afternoon Long Pose Lab, every Sunday, 4-7pm. $15/ $10

We’ve added a second section to our popular weekly figure drawing group. Sundays will be dedicated to long-format poses, with one pose for the entire session. All mediums of painting are welcome, as well as draftsmen focusing on developed drawings. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own supplies. There will be opportunities to work with costumes and environment in the poses.

Monthly Critique Night, Third Sunday of the Month, 7-9pm, FREE.

Join us on the third Sunday of each month for a critique night at Shoestring Studio. Moderated by Eileen Murphy, signups will open the week before. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop!

The Brooklyn Draw Jam! First Monday of each month, 7-10pm, $5 Suggested Donation

The Brooklyn Draw Jam is a little different from your average drink and draw. Artists of any skill level can come draw whatever they want and hang out in a relaxed atmosphere. Jammers engage in spontaneous collaborative drawings like jam comics, exquisite corpses, and drawing games. Regulars include Jess WorbyJason DasBrian Elig, and more. Cartoonists and illustrators are welcome to bring their own work as well.


Current Events

Edward the Confessor, Erich Erving, 2015

Edward the Confessor, Erich Erving, 2015

"The Bona Breviary of the Fabulosa Innocents"
works by Erich Erving
at Shoestring Studio
& "Lucid Dreaming"
works by Alex Schmitz
at Shoestring Press
September 8- October 4, 2017
Reception September 8, 6-9pm

Shoestring Studio and Shoestring Press are pleased to present two exhibitions; The Bona Breviary of the Fabulosa Innocents and Lucid Dreaming, opening on September 8, featuring works by Erich Erving and Alex Schmitz, curated by Jenny Carolin.

"Ye are the Chavies of Sparkle..." so says Saint Pauline (Paul) in her first letter to the Thessalonians, and this is where the development of The Bona Breviary (of the Fabulosa Innocents) begins. For the past decade Erich Erving has been working in one way or another on The Bona Breviary, whether it has been in exploring eroticism, masculinity, and intimacy, looking at the connection between sex and death, saint and sinner, and exploring the spiritual possibilities of Polari, a mixture of languages and slangs spoken in and about English cities. Polari has been the language of those on the fringes, and a way for gay people to identify and communicate with each other surreptitiously in an environment in which homosexuality was a crime.
The Bona Breviary is an exploration of what happens when a language of, for and from the fringe, a language that may be considered transgressive, is used to express worship and prayer. Pairing a Polari translation of traditional prayers for "red letter days" in the sanctoral calendar with images of dead gay porn stars, Erving’s intentions are to locate the queer within the compass of faith, and recover for Christian tradition a sense of its own intrinsically subversive jouissance. 

Erich Erving is a printmaker working primarily in etching, but also screen printing and relief printing. Erving's work deals with both erotic and religious themes in a queer context. He has influences as varied as William Blake, Tom of Finland, and Layman Foster. Erving's work can be found in the permanent collection of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City and has been shown at the Leslie Lohman Gallery and Annex 2008-2012. His work has also been seen at Shoestring Press in Brooklyn, 2015; Casa Frela NYC, 2009; The Painted Boy Gay Erotic Art Fair, 2008; and both at Cuchifritos and Apexart NYC in 2007. Erving graduated from Columbia University in 2006 with a degree in Literature/Writing.

Lucid Dreaming, by Alex Schmitz, is a series of painterly, tactile portraits displaying nude men posed against dream-like environments in which floating objects emerge with curiosity.  The work explores what it feels like to awake from a dream with acute, vivid awareness and a strong desire to extrapolate some sort of meaning.

The nude is significant mainly through its function of exposing what is typically concealed.  The condition of being nude parallels a dream’s ability to access the subconscious, divulging insights as to the raw inner workings of the psyche.  While lucid dreaming correlates more closely to mental cognizance, by contrast, nudity emphasizes the crucial role of physicality.

The paintings also contain objects loaded with symbolic value that appear to float from the background, exempt from physical laws of gravity and seemingly unfettered by the static pose of the figures.  The comparable level of representation between the figures and objects invokes attention to their similarities, inciting the formation of associations and encouraging postulation over what is unfolding. Similar to the lucid dream, there is the desire to assign meaning to the vision that eludes direct interpretation.

Alex Schmitz is a painter working primarily with the male nude as his subject matter. His previous series have placed the figure in architectural spaces that reinforce the grandeur, complexity, and beauty of the human body. His larger than life sized paintings blend oils with spray paint and invoke questions of desire, temptation, abstinence and indulgence. Schmitz graduated from Syracuse University in 2011 with a Masters in Fine Arts.