Urban Sketchers Symposium

At our annual conferences (we call them Symposiums), Urban Sketchers from all over the world meet, sketch, and share in person. Would you like to host a future symposium in your city?

Check out our next USk Symposium 2023 in Auckland! 

What is the Urban Sketchers International Symposium?

The Urban Sketchers International Symposium is an annual educational event organized by Urban Sketchers (USk), a nonprofit dedicated to fostering the practice of on-location observational sketching. The goal of the Symposium is to celebrate and practice the art of on-location sketching in the host city. Each symposium offers valuable field-sketching instruction and opportunities for participants to meet new friends and learn more skills. Following our spirit of “sharing the world, one drawing at a time,” we aim to bring the Symposium to new cities and countries every year.

What happens in a Symposium?

Every Symposium is different as each host city offers different learning opportunities and experiences that are very unique to that city. Symposiums have an opening reception and a closing event for participants to meet other sketchers. Depending on types of Sketch Passes, the activities vary. Workshops, Demos, Lectures, Skit Sketches and Sketch Walks are spread over the event. At the venue there is an Art Supplies Market which is open to the public. It features art tools, books and materials from different local and international suppliers. There is also a Silent Auction, a Raffle Draw, and daily Drink and Draw sessions.

Past Symposiums

symposium amsterdam

Special thanks to USk Netherlands, instructors, sponsors, volunteers and most of all, the participants.

symposium porto

Special thanks to USk Portugal Norte, instructors, sponsors, volunteers and most of all, the participants.

Symposium Chicago

Special thanks to Alex Zonis, Barbara Weeks and Joel Berman.

Symposium Manchester

Hosted by Manchester School of Art
Special thanks to Simone Ridyard

symposium singapore

Hosted by Temasek Polytechnic
Special thanks to Tia Boon Sim and Patrick Ng

Hosted by Paraty Casa da Cultura
Special thanks to Eduardo Bajzek and Fernanda Vaz de Campos

Symposium Barcelona

Hosted by Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona
Special thanks to Swasky and Miguel Herranz

Symposium Santo Domingo

Hosted by Centro Cultural de España and Museo de las Casas Reales
Special thanks to Orling Dominguez

Symposium Lisbon
2011 Lisbon

Hosted by Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade de Lisboa
Special thanks to Eduardo Salavisa and Mario Linhares

Symposium Portland

Hosted by Pacific Northwest College of Art
Special thanks to Kurt Hollomon, Patrick Forster and Gabriel Campanario

Call for next Host!

Are you interested in hosting an Urban Sketchers Symposium?

To apply you must read the Symposium Host Selection Handbook, where you will find all information about the selection process, and then fill this form.

Send your questions to

We are accepting applications all year, so if you want to know what it takes and what you need, don’t hesitate to contact us!