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Lynda Barry

Artist in residence Lynda Barry looks at the work of student Leah Misemer, left, after Barry's class "What It Is: Manually Shifting the Image." Barry leads a free "Drawing Jam" at Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Michael P. King/ Wisconsin State Journal

Cartoonist Lynda Barry, who guest taught a course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this spring and now has a professorship, will host a "Drawing Jam" this Saturday at the Image Lab located in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

Part of the free monthly series "Saturday Science at Discovery," the Drawing Jam chose the theme "the human mind" and celebrates "science, creativity and invention."

"We'll draw on paper, on each other's drawings ... we'll even draw on the wall!" boasts a Facebook invite.

Still, drawing will be structured, according to Angela Richardson, the current artist in residence at Barry's Image Lab. There will be prompts to make cumulative drawings, where each person will add to an existing image, and sequential ones, too. Prompts center on the "human mind" theme.

"We might ask people, 'Hey, draw a picture of a brain,'" Richardson said, "'and now draw a picture of the mind.' We want to get at — it's easy to picture the brain, but what does the mind look like? It'll be fun. It's especially interesting to see what children do, because they're often less inhibited."

The drawing lab is open to anyone, regardless of age, skill level and university affiliation. There will be events on the entire first floor of the Discovery building, including inventions, a Rube Goldberg machine and a parade with a drum and dance ensemble.

For her spring university class, Barry required no artistic ability, aiming to "strip away the stiffness of adulthood and plug people into their innate creativity," according to a late May interview on Talk of the Nation for NPR.

"Over the course of a semester, the students wrote about 50,000 words by hand ... and did hundreds of drawings," NPR reported. "A strong believer in the power of doodling to spur creativity, Barry is rarely found without a pen and pad — even during interviews.

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"'Whenever [students] are listening to people read the stories that we write in class, they have to draw. They had to draw while they're listening, and I try to really get that drawing habit into their hands.'"

Saturday Science at Discovery events are free to all ages. The Image Lab is located in the northwest corner on the first floor, near the intersection of University and Randall avenues.

Since 2008, Lindsay Christians has been writing about fine arts and food for The Capital Times. She loves eating at the bar, going to the theater, fine wine and good stories. She lives on the east side with her husband, two cats and too many cookbooks.