The Big Draw is about drawing, but participants will go far and beyond stick figures and doodles when they gather Saturday at the Ruskin Firehouse Cultural Center.
Some won't even use a pencil.
The daylong artistic extravaganza highlights a month of seminars and workshops celebrating the arts. It's all part of the Big Draw, an international celebration of art that began in the United Kingdom and is usually held in October. Ruskin joined the party six years ago to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the town.
John Ruskin, the town namesake, famously believed in drawing as a tool for understanding and knowledge and promoted the importance of the arts in education and community life.
This year's event brings together a variety of artists and institutions offering workshops and programs that inspire creativity among all ages.
Jim Reiman will conduct "Drawing With Light," a workshop sponsored by the Tampa Museum of Art. The adjunct professor of photography and digital imaging at the Art Institute of Tampa and the University of South Florida will show how to combine photography with digital imaging to create art.
Another workshop will focus on developing photo drawings in a darkroom.
Participants also can take part in drawing games, listen to music provided by DJ Seth Dugan of Doogie Entertainment, and enjoy food and beverages provided by local vendors.
The first two years of the Big Draw helped to determine that Ruskin and the SouthShore area needed a cultural center, according to cultural center spokeswoman Nina Tatlock.
Local organizations partnered with the SouthShore Arts Council, which received a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Sun City Center and the John and Elizabeth Crawford fund to host a month's worth of programs and workshops in and around Ruskin.
The first Big Draw also introduced a community mural project. In the third year, a mural was created on U.S. 41 in Ruskin, titled Best Little Town, facilitated by artist Michael Parker of the SouthShore Arts Council.
"These local nonprofits have helped make an economic and cultural impact in our area, and we appreciate all the volunteers and support from the community for these endeavors," Tatlock said.
The SouthShore Arts Council has continued its support of the Big Draw and other events, programs and performances throughout the year at the Firehouse Cultural Center.
Big Draw 2013 events will be held in other Tampa Bay places and Sarasota, including at the Ringling College of Art and Design, the Bishop Planetarium in Bradenton, the SouthShore Regional Library in Ruskin, Sun City Center and King's Point art clubs, Apollo Beach Elementary School and the Tampa Museum of Art.
For information about the sixth annual Ruskin Big Draw and the Firehouse Cultural Center, go to firehouseculturalcenter.org.
Kathryn Moschella can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.