Old Town Artists has hosted life-drawing open-studio sessions for most of its history. The sessions are in the Old Town Artists studio space on the east end of the fourth floor of the ACVR building. (A freight elevator is available to those artists who don’t want to climb the three flights to the fourth floor.)

The sessions are open to all serious artists, from beginner to expert.  We especially welcome beginners, who can work at their own pace in a supportive, critique-free environment. This is an open studio, there is no instructor.

Drawing equipment and amenities provided by Old Town Artists     

  • Easels, drawing benches, and tables are available for use by the session participants.
  • Participants bring their own drawing or painting supplies.
  • Coffee, tea, and water are provided by Old Town Artists.
  • We invite all participants to stay after the drawing sessions for popcorn and conversation.

Studio Rules

The sessions are held in the studio shared by members of Old Town Artists. As a result, we request that participants observe these simple rules.

  • Please remember that drawing session participants are guests of Old Town Artists.
  • Stay out of the artist’s spaces. Participants are invited to use the lounge area.
  • Do not use any equipment, easels, or supplies from the artist’s spaces.
  • Use only furniture or easels labeled Old Town Artists.
  • Pick up after yourself. Remember to throw away your coffee cups, scrap paper, paper towels, etc.
  • Oil painters cannot use turpentine because many persons are allergic to it. Oil painters must use odorless mineral spirits.
  • Fixatives are not allowed in the studio because they are health hazards in enclosed spaces.
  • Smoking is not allowed in the ACVR building.
Length of Sessions

The drawing sessions alternate between a 3-hour session one Wednesday and a 2-hour session on the following Wednesday. The session schedule is posted in advance online. We also host portrait drawing monthly from September to May.

How the sessions are run: The sessions consists of three, 3-minute poses followed by one pose for the rest of the session. The model is giving the discretion of  posing for 45 minutes and taking a break for 15 minutes or posing for 22 minutes and taking a break for 8 minutes.

  • Time: Wednesday night sessions begin at 7 p.m. and run until 9 p.m. (2 hour session) or until 10 p.m. (3 hour session). Portrait sessions are hosted monthly, usually on Saturdays and times can vary. Follow us on Facebook for the most up-to-date schedule.
  • Cost: $9.00 for 2 hours or $13 for 3 hours, payable at the first break in the session. On the Wednesdays when the session is 3 hours, participating artists have the option of only drawing for 2 hours and paying $9 instead of $13 for the session. We provide a tip basket for the model. Tipping is optional.
  • Entry to the studio: The ACVR building is locked after 4 p.m. The door will be opened for life-drawing participants from 6:40 to 7:00 p.m. After 7:00 p.m. call 651-278-5128 and someone will come downstairs to open the door for you.
  • Model schedule: The schedule of life-drawing models will be posted on our website when it becomes available.

Figure Models: Old Town Artists uses a model coordinator to schedule the models for the Wednesday-night open studio sessions. Please contact her directly at

Other Life Drawing Studios

Since 2009 Art Model Book has listed art schools, ateliers, and studios in the U.S. and Canada where artists can paint, sculpt, or draw live art models.  The list for Minnesota is here.

Roz Stendahl also maintains a list of life-drawing studios on her blog.
Art Model Book notes “Life Drawing groups come and go, and schedules change, so it is wise to confirm with the organizer before attending.”