Open Figure Drawing classes began on a Wednesday in the late 1980’s in the Community Folk Art Gallery (CFAG) — and still meets on Wednesdays. In those days the Gallery was located on 2223 East Genessee St. and was under the directorship of Herb Williams. Herb had Lorraine Huang run the class at first. When she could no longer conduct it, Denise Cole took over for a short while, after which Chuck Westfall ran the class. Dave Hicock and Johnny Robinson brought their drawing group to the Gallery when they lost their spot at Onondaga Community College. Johnny did such a great job with lighting the model that Chuck decided to let him run the group.

From the beginning, a diverse group of artists came to draw: George Benedict, Tillie Tillibaum, Sandra Lira, Bobby Lesley, Pete and Sue Valenti, Mike Caruso, and Lisa Bogin. The group held workshops on occasion, headed by Jack White.

In the early ’90s there was a fire at the CFAG. It forced the group to find a new location. Johnny Robinson brought it to the Westcott Community Center, its location until 2024. Back then it was known as the ECOH Center. It was there that Johnny named the group Open Figure Drawing. After many great years leading OFD, Johnny moved to Rochester to teach and Iver Johnson took over. He wanted to make sure OFD would always be solvent, so he had it incorporated.

Open Figure Drawing Inc. can’t exist without people — LIKE YOU! So we always encourage any participant to join the board and bring fresh ideas to help the group continue to thrive.

Thanks for coming to Open Figure Drawing!

Open Figure Drawing, since 1989