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Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School Ready for NOLA Debut

by Lee Matalone

Burlesque dancers and other vaudeville performers are looking to add canvas to their list of materials. As conveyed by its name, Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is not your typical life drawing class. The national organization's New Orleans branch on June 14 and will take place once a month in different locations around the city.


“Started in 2005 by Molly Crabapple, an art-school dropout, Dr. Sketchy’s combines life drawing with neo-vaudeville revival,” says Kali von Wunderkammer aka Mistress Kali, the ringmistress of Dr. Sketchy New Orleans, producer of Freaksheaux to Geaux, Storyville Rising and Kali’s Cabinet of Curiosities, and member of the Storyville Starlettes. “There will be lots of burlesque dancers, side-show variety folks, roller derby girls, non-traditional models. It takes life drawing out of a sterile context and puts it into a more boisterous or lively scenario.”


Session participants can expect to draw live performers and compete in a range of contests. Dynamo Toys, a local, female-run, female-friendly sex toy boutique, will be donating prizes to lucky winners.


The inaugural session will be held at the Allways Lounge on St. Claude Avenue, whose building features some of founder Molly Crabapple’s art. The Allways' penchant for burlesque and vaudeville make it a natural home for the event, but Mistress Kali is hoping to hold class at other venues.


“I’m trying to make it a rotating event so we’re not in the same venue all the time. We want to access different audiences," she said. "People can get stuck in their neighborhoods.”


Chatty the Mime, a friend of Mistress Kali’s and a member of Freaksheaux to Geaux and Storyville Starlettes, has been chosen to be the first model.


“She does great facial expressions, which is something that people don’t always think of when they’re doing life drawing,” says Mistress Kali. “She’s a strong performer, an interesting model, and great with props.”


Dr. Sketchy’s inaugural session will take place on June 14 from 6-9pm at the Allways Lounge. Admission is $10.

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