The half-naked woman in the gray ballet slippers, ruffled clown collar, glittered décolletage, and silver pasties looks a little uneasy standing still. Pyra Sutra is a ballet dancer and performance artist, but at the moment, she's supported by the outstretched hand of Ernie Von Schmaltz—host of Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School—as she poses en pointe for two minutes. Sutra ordinarily shimmies as the cofounder of Scandalesque Revue in Phoenix, where she's performed by request for the likes of Dave Navarro and Tommy Lee. But tonight, with her back to the mirrored wall of the West Hall, she's surrounded by Seattle artists perched in folding chairs while a flurry of scribbling and the rattling of cocktail ice mixes with the sounds of Nouvelle Vague and Goldfrapp. All she has to do for three hours this evening is be still, look pretty, and inventively rearrange her limbs on the red velvet chaise every 2 to 11 minutes.
Dr. Sketchy's is a renegade life-drawing movement that began in Brooklyn in 2005. Now in over 80 cities nationwide, scores of burlesquers, drag queens, contortionists, and roller girls regularly strike poses for artists and audiences. Seattle's branch was founded nearly three years ago in the basement bar of the Rendezvous and now lives beneath the luxe chandelier of Odd Fellow's West Hall. Models pose however they choose, while pocketing some extra money and fueling some hot artist action—on paper at least.
Dr. Sketchy's, every third Sunday, Odd Fellow's West Hall, 6–9 pm, $10–$20, 18+.