Urban Sketchers, a network of artists around the world who draw the cities where they live and travel, has a stated mission to "to show the world, one drawing at a time."

Loosely organized since 2007, the international Urban Sketchers movement encourages participants to get out and draw their communities.

Locally, the Urban Sketchers S.F. Bay Area is hosting a two-day "sketchcrawl" this coming weekend, July 13-14. The event is part of the annual West Coast Urban Sketchers' Sketchcrawl and is expected to draw (no pun intended) up to 150 individuals.

"We are expecting artists and nonartists, children and adults; it is a free event, and all are welcome," member Sonia Tamez said. "Just bring a sketchbook and pens or pencils."

San Francisco is the focus for the sketching on Saturday, and participants will be fanning out around Lake Merritt on Sunday.

Information is available on Facebook and also at http://wcuskskcrawl.blogspot.com and http://tinyurl.com/Sketch-Oakland.

Artists interested in the Oakland event should meet at 10 a.m. Sunday in front of the Camron-Stanford House, 1418 Lakeside Drive. After 2 p.m., everyone is invited back to the house to sit out on the veranda and share their work.


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Asked how she became involved with the Urban Sketchers, Tamez said, "I have always sketched as a way of capturing my experiences far from home while visiting or working in other countries. When I joined our local urban sketching group, it was with the objective of improving the foundation of my paintings. Now I enjoy sketching as a visual language that helps me connect in a deeper way with the Bay Area and my fellow sketchers at home and out in the world.

"The simplest pencil and paper drawings are a way of really seeing and appreciating these relationships," she said.

Another member, Susan Ford, said, "I've kept a sketching and painting journal for as long as I can remember. With the exception of the company of my dog, sketching was usually a solitary experience, until someone turned me on to the urban sketchers. Sketching is even more fun when you do it with others, and I'm less self-conscious than when I sketch alone."

Examples of sketchbooks, paintings and drawings from the group are currently on display at the Oakland Main Library, 125 14th Street.

Also on Sunday, the Oakland Municipal Band 102nd Concert Season continues with a free performance at the landmark Edoff Memorial Bandstand, starting at 1 p.m. in Lakeside Park. Other scheduled performances are July 21, July 28 and Aug. 4. Community donations make it possible to sponsor the conductor and professional musicians who put on the summer concerts. Learn more at www.oaklandmunicipalband.org.