A few years ago I stumbled upon this art project titled, The Sketchbook Project. I read on their website that they house over 20,000 sketchbooks and have a mobile library; to me this was intriguing. As I continued to read on I decided I wanted to be a a part of this project so I ordered a sketchbook. That next summer, I believe it was 2014, my friends and I visited the mobile library on its summer tour at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. On that tour only a select number of sketchbooks were on exhibit from the theme’s chosen for that summer’s mobile library. While visiting New York City this past weekend, for the first time I was able to visit the Brooklyn Art Library that housed all the sketchbooks. The works represented artists and everyday people from all over the globe.
It was cute and quaint; I loved it. It was a “hole in the wall” warehouse style place filled with so many different people’s stories and creations. I checked into the library on their iPad and searched different topics in the database in reference to the sketchbooks. Then I picked a sketchbook that sounded interesting. I did it all over again, but this time for my dad with his account because let’s face it, technology is not his strong suit. The assistant director working was so kind and welcoming; she gave my dad and I each our requested books along with their neighboring book they sit on the shelf with, which I thought was such a cool idea. My dad’s favorite sketchbook was one focusing on a battle between love and death. The writings and sketches were done by a female artist from Peru.
My dad and I were the only ones there at first, which was perfect since it gave us time to get acquainted with the place. Then as time passed more people showed up; some were taking pictures of the long shelves filled with what seemed like an infinity of sketchbooks and others were simply sitting with their nose deep inside someone else’s sketchbook. As we were leaving, looking back, everyone was simply intrigued by all the sketchbooks in which they were immersed.
I think this is a great place for anyone to visit; it’s just simply remarkable. I also feel every artist should think about creating a sketchbook for the project and become a part of their community.