Lehigh Valley natives Samantha Beedle and Jennifer Wrenn-Meleck have created an interactive, community-based Performance Art Company in the Lehigh Valley, named TheBeedle and TheWrenn. They’re doing their part to unite the artist community through new forms of visual and performance art, believing that art in any form can enlighten, inspire, engage, and entertain. Their plan is to give the Lehigh Valley, as they put it, “a shot of adrenalin.”
Part of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council’s mission is to “encourage and support artists in their development,” so Arts Council board member and artist, Steven Leibensperger, caught up with Samantha Beedle for an interview to learn more about a monthly fun event for artists, Drink’n’Draw.
Steven: So what is Drink’n’Draw?
Samantha: Drink’n’Draw is a bi-weekly event where local artists of all calibers come together and draw. I bring in music and live drawing models for inspiration. You can network, you can keep to yourself, you can just drink and not draw, whatever you want to do, do it!
Steven: When/how did you create this event?
Samantha: The Drink’n’Draw started in the cities around us. When I and The Wrenn moved back to Bethlehem, we wanted to bring elements of what we loved about living close to places that always had something going on. We added some things like live music and models, chose a week night for it, and “bing,” here is the Drink’n’Draw as we know it today in the Lehigh Valley.
Steven: What’s the appeal to artists?
Samantha: The appeal of these Tuesday Drink’n’Draws are a chance to get creative in any way you see fit. You get to meet local artists and work out your drawing muscle. The Brew Works is lovely and offers drink specials so that’s helpful. Also the Connexions Gallery D’n’D is great for all levels. There is a light critique and is led by Anthony, one of the curators of the Gallery. He leads it with a teacher’s eye with an emphasis on honing your skills with a nude live drawing model.
Steven: What do they get from the experience?
Samantha: Artists will get whatever they put into it. They can network, start new projects, try something new. It’s a creative safe zone where you can be yourself and maybe even get inspired!
Steven: Do you think it’s been as successful as you hoped?
Samantha: The Drink’n’Draws have come a long way from where they began–at The Hard Bean with a keg and “Jen Juice”… mmmm, which ended with a Tuesday night dance party. I loved those days! But now it’s just as fun and it’s a crowd that is showing up to so some drawing. I am so happy with the success of the event, but even more delighted that people like it! It just keeps getting better.
Steven: When is the next one and what are the details?
Samantha: There is a Drink’n’Draw this upcoming Tuesday (February 21st) at the Bethlehem Brew Works. This month some lovely Burlesque dancers are going to be modeling!! I am so psyched about this. They are coming from Miss Jaquelines School of Burlesque and Cabaret Arts in Jim Thorpe. The details are: $6 cost, 7-11 PM, with drink and food specials.
Normally the Drink’n’Draws are held the 4th Tuesday of the month. You can find Drink’n’Draw:Skin Sessions at Connexions Gallery in Easton. It’s BYOB, $10, nude model, 7-10pm, light critique and guidance by Anthony of Connexions. Don’t forget to bring your art supplies!
Samantha: Go to TheBeedle and TheWrenn on Facebook