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Rights Respecting Town Bridport and The Lyric presents The Portrait Challenge 24 Jul 2020 - 31 Aug 2020

The Portrait Challenge

Equal rights = we’re all equal, right?

Bridport Rights Respecting Town and The Lyric Theatre are championing an exciting Portrait Challenge for the whole community to get involved in during the summer holidays.

Did you draw a window-rainbow for the NHS during lockdown?

The Portrait Challenge is a way for us to celebrate seeing each other again by painting or drawing the faces of people we have missed and people we love. It is a chance to make our treasured friends, family and neighbours visible by putting our portraits in our windows and turning our streets into an art gallery! This is for everyone.

For five weeks we challenge EVERYONE young and old, to draw, paint, scribble or sketch each other and populate our town with a mass gathering of US!

After such tricky times, this a way to connect with someone you haven’t seen for a while, or to spend time with someone (at a safe distance) and turn them into a work of art, a family heirloom! Try different styles, try drawing in miniature or giant portraits. Make as many as you want – draw just one, or 10 or 100 portraits. Who will you draw?

Have a go, practice and improve if you want to. Look out for pop-up portrait lessons around the town, in parks and online. 

Learn something new, spread a smile, get to meet some artists, be part of something unique and special for our community. While our eventful town is coming back to life, let’s fill our windows with portraits and make August a celebration!

So how does it work? It’s very simple. Just draw a portrait of someone you know then put it up on display, in your window, or on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #theportraitchallenge. Try drawing yourself, your family, the shopkeeper, the bus driver, the delivery driver, your next-door neighbour, people working in shops, your pet – or all of them. Perhaps you might like to ask a local business to put one of your portraits up in their window. Please always ensure that you have the permission of the person you're drawing/painting to display their portrait.

Simply have a go - there will be pop-up portrait drawing lessons in parks and online, so you can learn something new and there will be drawing, making and painting happening everywhere. Bridport Museum would also like you to vote for a few of the portraits to be archived in its collections for future generations. Watch this space for more details!

Sat 8 August, 9:30am - 12:30pm
Megan Dunford from SEAFAIR will be outside The Lyric offering 3 minute portraits. Pop along and have yours done!
Tues 11 August, (2 - 4pm)
Angie Porter is running a free online tutorial in the fundamentals of creating a pet portrait from a photo of your pet. Booking essential but places are free:
Sat 29 August, 10am - 2pm
Local artists Ella Squirrel, Pippa Evans, Tom Halifax, Peter Hitchin, Louise Yates and Hugh Dunford Wood are doing a pop-up portrait drawing session on Bridport Arts Centre forecourt. They are offering to draw a quick portrait of anybody who will sit for them in return for them doing a portrait of us, or someone else then and there. Simply turn up!

Championed by: Bridport Rights Respecting Town and The Lyric Theatre (with a contribution from funds raised in the recent Curtain Up on Communities Crowdfunder)

With additional support from: Bridport Museum, Magna Housing, SEAFAIR, Bridport Open Studios, Bridport Contemporary Gallery, T Snooks, Bridport Hat Festival & a growing list of fabulous supporters


Can I draw a celebrity instead?
This challenge is specifically about celebrating people in our community rather than celebrities, so for this challenge we'd love you to draw/paint someone you know (or don't know yet!) locally.

Do I have to be an artist or be able to draw to take part?
Nope! This challenge is for everyone to have a go at. If you've never tried drawing, this can be your first go and that's fine. You can push yourself as much or as little as you like! We hope you find fun in taking part and showing your work. Take inspiration from the rainbows in windows for the NHS...

Can I display a life drawing?
The Portrait Challenge is specifically about faces only. The neck if you like. But no nudity please!

Can I draw someone pulling a funny face?
Yes of course! It doesn't have to be serious. Let's spread a smile. But can your model keep still in a funny face for long enough..?!

I've got an idea for a pop-up, what do I do?
Ideally if it's safe to do so, go ahead and do it! If you tell us about it we can help publicise it on social media. Keep an eye on our social media (follow #theportraitchallenge) to see what other pop-ups are happening.

What size portrait should I draw?
Whatever you fancy! Think about how you will display it - if it's in your window, make sure it is visible to passers by. If you want to draw really large, you could ask a local business if they'd be happy to display it in their window. Or, you might like to do a teeny tiny portrait that fits into a matchbox. Anything goes, but ideally large enough for people to see!

I don't have a window that people can see - can I still take part?
Of course - see the question above about asking if a local shop will display it in their window for you. Or you could ask a friend or neighbour if they will display yours too. Failing that, get in touch and we'll see if we can link you up with a spare window space - we can't guarantee we'll be able to though.

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    This event closed on the
    31 Aug 2020

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The Lyric Theatre
9 Barrack Street, Bridport DT6 3LX
Box Office: 01308 424901