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“The Sketch Artist” – “The Saugonian luminaries of 2020,” done by the Saugus Advocate Sketch Artist, are on display this month at the library

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By Laura Eisener


The new exhibit in the periodicals room at Saugus Public Library for August features the Saugonian luminaries of 2020, done by the Saugus Advocate Sketch Artist in the “Guess Who Got Sketched” series. Portraits of individuals from Saugus (and one special location) who were featured in The Saugus Advocate during the unprecedented events of 2020 are up on display. For the past three years, Saugus’ only newspaper ran a sketch each week done by the formerly secret sketch artist – unveiled this year as Joanie Allbee. Readers could guess the identity of the portrait subject and there would be a drawing from the correct answers – the person whose name was drawn would receive an award, usually a gift card to a local business. Exhibits later in the year will be portrait sketches from 2021, 2022 and 2023. The subjects of the sketches were usually people who had been featured in the newspaper recently or who had made significant contributions to town life during the year. Especially in 2020, the sketches helped many residents find some enjoyment and connection with the community despite isolation, travel restrictions and health concerns.

Joanie herself enjoyed doing the sketches and getting acquainted with the subjects she sketched. Some of the people were already well known to her from other activities in the town, and others were people she got to know during the sketching project. “When I take photos of the sketchee and take the shots I’m looking for as well as visually & spatially map them in my head it’s total bliss,” Joanie said. “I am in the zone. Those are sketches I love best!”

This exhibit will be up for the month of August so visitors to the library can see the sketches and catch up on any they may have missed in the weekly Saugus Advocates!

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