Saturday, May 29, 2010

Las Vegas Dr. Sketchy's in the View News


Anti-Art School




By AMANDA LLEWELLYN

VIEW STAFF WRITER






F. ANDREW
TAYLOR/VIEWContortionist Stephanie Castellone poses for artists during
the April Dr. Sketchy?s Anti-Art School life drawing session. The
sessions are offered the third Tuesday of each month at Dino?s Lounge.










F. ANDREW
TAYLOR/VIEWDr. Sketchy?s Anti-Art School Las Vegas coordinator Cha Cha
Velour announces competition categories during the April session.










F. ANDREW
TAYLOR/VIEWContortionist and circus performer Stephanie Castellone
poses in repose during the April Dr. Sketchy?s Anti-Art School life
drawing session at Dino?s Lounge.








Burlesque
performer Cha Cha Velour considers herself an ambassador of all things
pleasureful and debaucherous. Tightly clutching an all-tease, no-sleaze
attitude as though it were a shiny, new designer handbag, the longtime
Las Vegas resident said her goal is to herald the promise and splendor
of artistic expression to the masses while gaining some notoriety as a
performer.
It was the quest for
that notoriety that led Velour to pursue rights to host the infamous
Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, which began in New York in 2005 and is
now known internationally.
The life-drawing
class features games, prizes and a burlesque or performance art model,
who performs and then poses for photographers, artists and barflies
during a three-hour drawing session.
A registered
cardiology nurse by day and renegade tattooed striptease artist by
night, Velour said she understands the plight of Clark Kent, Superman's
alter ego.
"All the mystery adds to the notoriety and mystique of what I do, though," she said.
The Las Vegas Dr.
Sketchy's, which meets from 7 to 10 p.m. the third Tuesday of each
month, has been going for nearly two years but recently gained a new
home in the form of the trendy, downtown karaoke hotspot Dino's Lounge,
1516 Las Vegas Blvd. South.
"We were at The
Aruba for the longest time, but late last year this opportunity
presented itself and I had to jump at it," Velour said. "Dino's is a
great place, and I think it has just the right ambience for what we're
trying to accomplish with these events."
Admission is free. Velour said participants don't need to be professional artists, but they do need to be 21 or older.
Velour said Dr.
Sketchy's events are so well-known in burlesque communities around the
world that running the Las Vegas incarnation earns her instant
recognition among fellow striptease artists.
"I introduce myself
and tell people that I run the event here, and they immediately know
what I'm talking about," she said. "Then they know that I'm the real
deal."
Velour said her motivation for hosting the event is not purely for self-promotion.
"I think we need
more events like this in Las Vegas," she said. "It exposes people to
something new. It gives performers a venue to show their stuff, and it
promotes the arts. It's all good."
Contortionist and
circus performer Stephanie Castellone said the April event was the
first time she'd had an opportunity to pose for the class but that she
would love to do it again.
"It was a really great gig," she said.
Castellone said she
has been friends with Velour for a long time and was thrilled when the
burlesque beauty opted to plug her into the model spot for the month.
"It's the kind of
event that caters to artists and photographers," she said. "They get to
practice their skills. Even the amateurs get excited, and there's a
great vibe. I plan to pose again towards the end of the year."
Velour said models are not nude, and at the very least they wear pasties and a G-string.
"Usually, there's a
performance and then a posing session in one costume, a break, and then
the model comes back in another costume," she said.
Velour said she has yet to see anyone bring paints or sculpting tools to the event, but such mediums would be welcome.
"There's drinking, drawing, games and debauchery," she said. "That's kind of our motto."
For more information
about Dr. Sketchy's nationally, visit www.drsketchy.com. For details
about the local Dr. Sketchy's, visit lasvegasdrsketchys.blogspot. com,
twitter.com/lvdrsketchys or
www.facebook.com/pages/las-vegas-dr-sketchys-anti-art-school/457245525211.

Contact North Las Vegas and Downtown View reporter Amanda Llewellyn at allewellyn@viewnews.com or 380-4535.


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