Mark Anderson was one of only three artists in the world and the only one from the United States chosen to cover the Amsterdam Urban Sketcher symposium as a correspondent in late July. Urban Sketchers is an international nonprofit dedicated to fostering a global community of artists who practice on-location drawing.

Anderson is the district art education coordinator for North Kansas City Schools and teaches eighth-grade art at Antioch Middle School. After a competitive selection process, Anderson was chosen as symposium correspondent along with two other artists from Tokyo and Amsterdam. Anderson is also a writer for Urban Sketchers’ monthly newsletter as well, according to a press release.

“I’m thrilled to represent our district and country at the symposium. Each of us comes to Urban Sketchers with a different purpose in mind, and it’s that varied experience I feel needs to be shared. It’s the story of us,” Anderson, who has been with NKC Schools for 15 years, said.

The 10th annual Urban Sketchers Symposium was July 24 to 27, in Amsterdam. It brought hundreds of artists from around the world together to share their passion, hone their craft and take part in workshops. The symposium helps raise the artistic and educational value of location drawing, connecting people who draw on location where they live and travel,” states the release.

Anderson has been drawing as a means of storytelling for as long as he can remember.

“Drawing, like writing something by hand, helps you to visualize and make concepts more concrete; it’s a very natural fit for learning,” he said.

Before becoming an art teacher, Anderson was a designer, writer and illustrator for some of the top advertising firms in the country.