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New Exhibit Showcases Local Artist Sketches Inspired by Bell Museum Collections

August 29, 2013

This fall, the Bell Museum of Natural History’s Jaques Gallery will be filled with art inspired by the very museum in which it is displayed. Something Sketchy, opens to the public on September 5 and features sketches created by over a dozen local artists.
The Bell Museum has long been a popular destination for sketching, which inspired curator Jennifer Menken to begin the Sketch Night program in 2011. "We wanted to create an opportunity for artists of all levels to get together in a relaxed, social setting and sketch some of the unique items in our collection that often aren’t accessible to the public," shared Menken. The program has doubled in size since its launch and has developed a steady following of regulars who attend each Sketch Night, held the first Thursday of the month during the academic year.  

The Sketch Night program has created a rich collection of artwork, and Menken has observed that the skills of many attendees have expanded. Something Sketchy provides an opportunity to showcase those pieces and the skill involved in their creation. The exhibit will feature a collection of vintage sketches from the Bell’s collections and include an interactive station where visitors can try sketching and then display their finished products.

Opening night, September 5, coincides with the first Sketch Night of the coming year. Through May 2014, Sketch Night will be held the first Thursday evening of each month from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Themes for each evening are listed below, and many themes will include visits from guest artists.

September 5: Celebrate Something Sketchy

October 3: Audubon’s Birds

November 7: Nature’s Tools

December 5: Curiosity

January 2: Growth

February 6: Exploration

March 6: Rare

April 3: Deception

May 1: Water

The Bell Museum is part of the University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and strives to advance the quest to discover, document and understand life in its many forms and to inspire curiosity, delight and informed stewardship of the natural world. For details, visit

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