International Sketching Artist Visiting Utah State University April 11-13

The Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP) Department at Utah State University is hosting international sketching artist, Jim Richards, for a public forum, all-day sketching workshop and a sketch walk the second week of April.

The events are the result of a CREATE 2020 proposal submitted by Assistant Professor Ole Sleipness supported by the department’s differential tuition funds.

“Sketching is a skill valued by design employers, faculty and students,” Sleipness noted in his proposal.  “However, in our digital age, it's a skill that few take time to cultivate. While they wish they could draw better, students are overwhelmed and don't know where to start.”

Richard’s visit to USU begins with a free, public forum Thursday, April 11, at 7 p.m., in Fine Arts Visual, room 210. Richards will discuss techniques for sketching on location and also his solo exhibition of Cuban sites related to Ernest Hemingway’s life that was shown at the author’s home during the 2015 Havana Art Biennial.

The all-day workshop on Friday, April 12, is designed to enhance students’ skills and aid them in developing rapid, freehand sketching techniques, learning strategies for on-location field sketching and practicing graphic techniques that foster sketch communication of design concepts through visualization techniques. Richards was chosen to present the workshop due to his international acclaim. 

“Jim’s talents are recognized worldwide,” Sean Michael, LAEP department head, said. 

Richards has sketched in more than 45 countries around the world, including Vietnam, Italy, Cuba, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Holland and Russia.

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Though his travels have taken him across the world, Richards has never been to Logan, and he looks forward to this new opportunity. 

“I’m really happy and grateful to be able to come to Logan,” Richards said. 

In particular, Richards looks forward to sketching the scenic views of campus and downtown Logan. Saturday’s sketch walk begins at Old Main, and students will follow Richards down 600 E., toward the Logan Temple, past the Logan Tabernacle and end in the historic district along Federal Avenue. 

LAEP Assistant Professor Benjamin George thinks the route perfectly captures Logan and provides students with a variety of opportunities to practice what they learned at the all-day workshop.

“This route gives us some spots with nice vistas, interesting buildings, a variety of urban settings and it’s very walkable,” George said. “I believe there’s no better way to capture Logan than to start with Old Main and end in the historic district.”

LAEP students, faculty and advancement board members may attend the workshop and sketch walk free of charge. Non-LAEP students are welcome to attend for $25. LAEP alumni may attend for $35, and the general public is welcome to attend both events for $45. Prices increase by $10 after April 5. 

To learn more about the events or to register, visit

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