Mark your calendar! The 2015 Symposium will be in Singapore, July 22-25. Read more here.

April 11, 2013

Drawn together in highly sketchable Statesville, North Carolina


Meeting fellow urban sketchers when you are away from home can be a very rewarding experience.

I recently met two of them during my spring break vacation in North Carolina: Jessie Chapman, an architect from Charlottesville I first met at the Santo Domingo Urban Sketching Symposium last summer; and Steven White, a web designer from Blacksburg, Virginia.

Though it was only the second time I met Jessie in person and the first time I ever shook hands with Steven, the connection was instantaneous. It felt like meeting dear cousins or old college friends.

Steven was just as funny and genuine as I expected — I've known him since the early days of the Urban Sketchers flickr group. "C'mon, give me a hug!" he said in the characteristic friendly style of his online persona, "SketchySteven," as soon as he saw me. And Jessie was just as excited as Steven and I about our little sketching meetup, which took place under beautiful sunny skies and pleasant spring temperatures.

The meeting location was Statesville, a small town about an hour north of Charlotte where my brother-in-law, Jeff Archer, opened his bike shop more than two decades ago.


Jeff's First Flight Bicycles business now occupies a historic building in the heart of the city and attracts customers from all over the region and beyond. Sketchers? Not so much. That's probably why he tipped off a local newspaper reporter who promptly showed up to interview us for this story.

After a quick lunch, we set out to sketch across the bike shop as Jeff was busy attending customers who pop up from everywhere. For instance, a New Yorker who took a detour on his trip back home from Florida just to visit the bike shop; and a father and son from Charlotte who spent three hours browsing the shop and Jeff's collection of vintage bicycles, also known as the Museum of Mountain Bike Art and Technology.


The bike shop and other impressive buildings in downtown Statesville kept us busy sketching all afternoon. Then we wrapped up the day in typical sketcher fashion, having a drink at a local bar, the Wine Maestro, that Jeff recommended.

If you ever find yourself near Statesville, make sure to stop by First Flight Bikes and get a sketch or two done along South Center Street. Like Jessie said, it's a town that ranks high in "sketchability."



9 comments :

urban sketcher - devon said...

How brilliant to meet up and sketch with others...great sketches!

kumi matsukawa said...

Sounds exciting! I felt the same when I met you in Portland, Gabi.

memi said...

The beauty of what you created, Gabi. Sweet drawings.

Richard Sheppard said...

Very cool! Sounds like a great time. I'll be meeting with some Bay Area Urban Sketchers here in Healdsburg for the first time on April 20. Can't wait to meet everyone.

Murray Dewhurst said...

Excellent post Gabi! All the more interesting for a long time mountain biker who has visited the Museum of Mountain Bike Art and Technology website many times over the years. I even have an old Wicked Fat Chance pretty much like the one in the museum.

Isabel said...

I know the feeling
great sketches and story

Steven said...

Good times! Can't wait to do it again some day, Gabi!

Americas said...

Great info! Very simple and easy…nobody can explain as interesting as this. I appreciate your time and effort on making things simple and easily understandable. I have bookmarked your site...

Limousine Rental

James said...

A very good resource for everybody that wants to read a good blog.That’s very simple to follow thank you, I will pass this on, the great thing about photo editing is there is more than one way to go about it!Caravan for hire