KW Urban Sketchers show city from above


Photo by Will Huang
Photo by Will Huang

Kitchener-Waterloo’s regional chapter of the global non-profit grassroots organization Urban Sketchers is holding their first ever exhibition. Located in Kitchener City Hall’s Berlin Tower Gallery, KW Urban Sketchers have displayed 16 beautifully crafted sketches of downtown Kitchener.

The sketches were all completed May 3 while the artists were sitting atop Kitchener City Hall, and were all drawn in panoramic view showing King Street, Frederick Street, the tops of some of Wilfrid Laurier University’s tallest buildings and everything in between.

The fascinating thing about this exhibit is that it features 16 different interpretations of the same view.

For example, Tracy Bithell’s ‘As The Crow Flies’ features a very structured and detail oriented look at King Street West all the way down to what appears to be the Cambridge horizon.

It is so detailed that you can almost make out the faces of the people in the TD Canada Trust Centre.

Joan Ang’s ‘Kitchener in Vivid Colour’ is a much more non concrete view of  the corner between Ontario Street and King Street. It features bright colours and simple shapes, but gives off a noticeable sense of familiarity.

The KW Urban Sketchers insist on having their drawings tell the story of K-W’s surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.

With this exhibit, they accomplish just that.

Don’t expect to see an elaborate setup with grandiose portraits, but come prepared to see a collection of pieces that make you feel right at home. When looking at the lush colours schemes in Steph Lee’s ‘King & Gaukel,’ the familiarity of walking by that intersection and seeing those same rustic colours is unparalleled.

Even the menacing shadows featured in Heather Franklin’s ‘Elements of King Street’ will remind people of exactly how it feels to walk down King Street when the sun is hidden behind the towering buildings.

It is truly the diversity in the sketches paired with each artist’s unique spin that makes it a well-rounded exhibit.

KW Urban Sketchers not only allows local artists to display their work, but also shows the community how important even the simplest art can be.

This particular exhibit runs all throughout September and is free to go and see. I would highly recommend at least checking it out for a quick second just to appreciate the artistic representations of the streets that we walk each and every day.

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