Last month, Jason Polan, a prolific illustrator and unique sketch artist who sought to draw every person in the city, died at the age of 37. Polan was best known for his ambitious signature project Every Person In New York—he sought to draw everyone he saw, "in subway stations and museums and restaurants and on street corners." Now, the Museum of Modern Art and UNIQLO have teamed up to commemorate his passing with a big participatory art project called “The World’s Biggest Drawing Club.”
In addition to his Every Person In New York project, Polan also loved getting people together to draw, like with his Taco Bell Drawing Club, in which a group of artists would meet at a Taco Bell location near Union Square to draw. In that spirit, MoMA and the clothing brand are inviting people to come to the museum this Friday to take part in a similar project.
"Our hope is to mark Jason’s passing with the very spirit of creativity, inclusivity and kindness that defined his work. The idea is simple: we gather together, friends and strangers, this Friday evening to draw at the MoMA, just as Jason did to produce his book: Every Piece of Art at the Museum of Modern Art Book."
The “World’s Biggest Drawing Club” will take place at MoMA between 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. this Friday, February 28th. You can pick up a free ticket at the flagship UNIQLO store at 666 5th Avenue after 3:30 p.m. Friday. They'll also give you "a special Jason Polan pen and paper on which to draw, sketch or doodle whatever catches your eye" at MoMA. They'll also be giving out the Polan pens and postcards for free in the line and entrance at MoMA that evening.
A spokesperson noted that "Jason’s family has been working with us as well, and have approved everything from the invite, to the pen design," and that they will be there on Friday too.
The resulting drawings will be used to create a physical mural at the UNIQLO store, and will also be posted online. And if you aren't in NYC or are unable to make it to the event in person, you can still draw, sketch or doodle something and share it on social media with the hashtag #WorldsBiggestDrawingClub; if you put that up before Monday, it'll be included in the mural tribute as well.
"I draw people every day, and usually no one will notice me," Polan told WNYC in 2010 while talking about his drive to draw. "I don't think there's a day I don't draw something. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, and the project will be not very complete, but as long as I'm living and I can draw, I'll be thinking about this project."