Before participating in his first Monster Drawing Rally — a live art event during which artists create work in front of attendees — Stephen Kissel felt the pressure. 

“I felt really nervous about it,” says Kissel, education and media manager at Riverviews Artspace. "I didn't feel like I had enough time." 

But it wasn’t long before he dialed in during his first one, at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, about four years ago: “You get so into what you’re doing that sometimes you don’t even notice when people are walking by.”

“Usually there’s a lot of people there, a lot of artists doing different things,” he adds. “There’s always a good number of artists. They fill up their lobby. … Some [artists] do one big piece or small piece. Some end up doing three or four. It depends on what they’re comfortable with doing in that amount of time.”

That experience will come closer to home this weekend, when Riverviews hosts its first rally to raise money for its artists and programs.

Set to run from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, it will feature at least 15 artists — including Kissel — creating original work. They’ll be given an hour and a half to complete their pieces, he says, which will then be available for purchase for $50 each, with proceeds split between the artists and Riverviews.

“We’re telling them they can prep in advance, have sketches,” he says, “so they have a little planning and don’t have to jump right into it. But the majority has to be completed here, that way it’s live.”

The completed works will be hung in Riverviews’ Craddock-Terry Gallery, so attendees can get a good look at what’s available.

“It’s just a really fun time,” Kissel says. “A little bit of a time constraint for the artist but a challenge too.”

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Contact Casey Gillis at (434) 385-5525 or Find her on Twitter: @tvcouchpotato.

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