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There is more than meets the eye lurking in the back alleys of downtown Champaign.

A life drawing class at the Boneyard Pottery was started years ago by Bill Baher. After Baher’s passing, Ron Karlstrom, an artist and good friend of Baher’s, and Michael Schwegmann — owner of Boneyard and artist — decided to keep it going. Now called M.E.L.D. (Monday Evening Life Drawing), the group meets every week at 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. inside Boneyard Pottery on 403 S. Water St. in Champaign. The class costs a mere $7 and newcomers are always welcome.

Set in the back room of Boneyard Pottery, the studio space is cozy and raw, the group is lively and come from various levels of drawing skills. They provide chairs, stools, table space and tray tables — and if you prefer an easel, you can bring yours along.


Around eight to ten men and women pick their place to work, first come first served, and prepare their supplies while a live model sits and waits for everyone to ready themselves. Karlstrom calls for a quick two minute sketch to warm up, but he isn’t the leader, per se. There is no authority figure to hover over your shoulder as you struggle with the human form. There are no grades.

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This informal, non-instructional life drawing class functions organically — so, drop in if you’d like. Crack open a beer if you want to bring one. But if you’re looking for feedback or a critique of your artwork, Karlstrom or another group member are more than willing to help out.

For more information on M.E.L.D., please contact Boneyard Pottery at 217-355-5610, or email Ron Karlstrom directly.

Photos by Justine Bursoni