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Draw Freely and Leave An Exquisite Corpse

With so much creative talent here in Santa Rosa, it should come as no surprise during your evening stroll to stumble upon a gaggle of friends and strangers having fun with…well, art.

This was the case recently when Sprenger’s Tap Room (446 B Street) welcomed a large group of locals to their outdoor beer garden patio. Adults and kids sat around tables covered with paper, pens, markers, crayons and cut-up pictures to play Exquisite Corpse, a collaborative game originally played with poetry dating back to the Parisian Surrealist Movement, but in modern times is often found being played with drawing.

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The concept is simple: fold a piece of paper into thirds, draw either a head at the top, a torso in the middle, or legs on the bottom. Pass your paper to someone else, where they will NOT PEEK at what else has been drawn, and will fill in one of the blank spots…so on and so forth. The result is a mish-mash of artistic styles creating one finished piece, coming from seasoned artists, whimsical creatives, eccentric doodlers, and painfully-untalented random people who appear to be lost, such as myself. (Side note: I apologize to anyone who got a cloud, egg, or box as a torso in their overall drawing.)

Anyone can organize an Exquisite Corpse event, whether it’s around your kitchen table with friends, or on a larger scale with community members. The event I participated in was organized by local champion of the arts Spring Maxfield who, through Facebook and word-of-mouth, managed to throw together familiar faces as well as many who had never before met…including a few people right off the street who saw what was going on and were welcomed to join in the fun.

IMG_2019 Sponsored in part by Riley Street Art Supply (103 Maxwell Court), the paper, art supplies, beers and burgers needed to fuel this casual evening event covered several of the large tables along Sprenger’s B Street patio, and invited questions and conversation between fellow tablemates, and strangers walking by alike.

In short, it was a perfect Santa Rosa evening.

What are your favorite group games to play? Tell us in the comments, and be on the lookout for more group events like these around town!


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Amanda Janik is the Producer of Mortified Sonoma County and a regular performer and reader at events locally, in San Francisco and beyond. She has read at SF Sketchfest, SF Improv Fest, SF Lit Crawl, an Unruly Story Fest, and many more. She is passionate about supporting local entertainment and showcasing local talent, as well as bringing performers and artists from afar to Santa Rosa's doorstep. A native of Michigan, Amanda has lived in California since 1997 and has called Sonoma County her home since 2001. She lives in Santa Rosa. Visit her at www.amandajanik.com.


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