Posers rule


While we’re on the subject of activism and art, I ran into Joseph Dugan and Ted Schorske, members of the Philadelphia Models Guild Friday night outside Nexus. You may remember hearing about the Guild and their fight to unionize the figure models at Moore College. (unionizing would help them get such things as dressing rooms, health care benefits and a fair deal on wages.) Dugan and Schorske were leafletting for next Sunday’s draw- and paint-athon at Fleisher Art Memorial — a fundraiser for the Guild. They told me the models won their case at Moore and are now moving on to their next target, PAFA, which has around 35 models. Read more about the case here

According to Mark Brakeman, a spokesperson for the group, the Philadelphia Models Guild is now a bonafide chapter of AFSCME with around 20 members. The Guild must petition the NLRB for standing at each art school they hope to organize. (The Guild’s petition argues that models are employees of the school, not indipendent contractors. The school’s position is that the models are independent contractors.) Last week, the NLRB met on the PAFA issue and Brakeman says he hopes to hear their answer soon (with luck in the next two weeks but by December at the latest).

About that paint and draw-marathon on Oct. 12. For $20, you can draw and paint from live models starting at 10 am and going into the night (to 10 pm). Guild members provide food and non-alcoholic drinks also included in the $20. Models will pose in studios on Fleisher’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors, some doing quick poses, some doing longer. Portrait models will be available and some models will work in teams for double poses.

It’s the third marathon the Guild has sponsored (Fleisher doesn’t sponsor the event, the models rent the building) and the money raised will help with union organizing. Around 65 people came to draw and paint at the last marathon, Brakeman said.

Sharpen those pencils and come on out and support Philadelphia’s model citizens. Thomas Eakins would approve. Wouldn’t he? (image at top is from Eakins’ “Naked Series: Female Model” circa 1883, 7 albumen prints)


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