Thursday, February 24, 2011

TEN-THOUSAND Sketchbooks!!


This (photo on left) is what 10,000 sketchbooks looks like, at the Brooklyn Art Library, an offbeat little place in a quiet neighborhood of Brooklyn. About double that amount of sketchbooks were sent out to participants in the Sketchbook Project, but these, here at the library, were the ones that were returned by the artists. The exhibit will travel around the country. Maybe you can see it when it shows up near you!

I wish I could say that I looked at them all, but, well, it doesn't work that way. But, along with other visitors to the Library, we sure tried!!

I liked the mix of people there, young, old, New Yorkers, and tourists like us. We sat at a table and shared sketchbooks with interesting people, and it was a warm friendly artsy environment. Check out those two cool covers sitting on the table. (Their insides were cool too.)


Some of the sketchbooks (such as these above) were humorous; some were scary, others were provocative, and many were introspective.

These 2 images are from a lovely book titled "You'd be home by now..."


To look at the sketchbooks, we were allowed to sign out 4 at a time. You could pick them from a theme, and from there it was pot luck, unless you told them a specific artist you wanted to see. During a lull, the gal in charge let me pick out 3 books from the shelves whose covers drew me to them. So some of the sketchbooks were better than others. Some were obviously done by kids, some were not anywhere near finished, and some were spectacular. Some had pages that folded out - and out - and out further, or popped up. The media choices were widely varied, including pencil drawings, paintings, collage, printmaking, and even crocheting! Covers were left plain, or jeweled, sewn, padded, collaged, laced, and more. By the time we left, we had probably viewed over 50 sketchbooks, only scratching the surface. What an amazing collection of art!

Here's some more favorite pages:


The crocheted book (right photo above, and 2 photos below) was SO cool - there was a crocheted fish, a giraffe, leaves on a tree, flowers, and more. Every page was an adventure!! Here's 2 more pages from the book, including the brilliant pop-up was in the middle of the book!



And some more sketchbook images:

This has been just a small sampling of what we saw. ---------------- Anyhow, here I am, still in NYC. Got back a few hours ago from a great visit to the Brooklyn Museum, but I haven't downloaded my photos off the camera yet. Hopefully tomorrow...

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for these great pictures!!!! I will check and see when they tour south...


    Miriam
    mommyactivist.blogspot.com

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  2. Oh my gosh...how AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I could stay there for days looking through them....if I could ever get there to see them.

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  3. These are really incredible -- puts my little sketchbook to shame!! I can see if I participate again next year I'll have to step up my game a bit! I can't believe the crocheted cover. I would never have thought of that! Were you able to see yours? I wish the tour had a stop closer to me, but San Francisco is about 7 or 8 hours away. Thanks for providing a window into what it is like.

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  4. These photos are amazing! My sketchbook is actually in this show but I will never be able to go to New York and see it. So you posting the photos of what the room looks like is so cool.

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  5. One word; WOW! I wish my 8th graders could see those! They get a sketchbook to work in at the beginning of the year, but sometimes they don't get the concept! I think this expo will help!

    Ilse at
    http://artlessonsfrombelgium.blogspot.com/

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  6. amazing to see all these books! i didn't get to go to the opening but hope to get there before it moves on (i miss my little book!) thanks for posting this glimpse into the show and letting us see a peek at so many wonderful books ♥

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  7. Thanks for sharing Phyl! I've been anticipating your post about this for days!

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  8. Wow this is amazing! I would love to see all of them. Amazing to think how many hours went into the creation of those!

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  9. Very cool and inspiring. Looks like a great way to spend an afternoon.

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  10. Oooooooooooooooooooooooh, how cool is that???? I love it! jan

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  11. Very interesting the books!!!.
    pintalaluna.blogspot

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  12. Phyl, I am so excited! I got to check out your sketchbook today at the SPACE Gallery in Maine. Of all the books my friends and I got to check out, we decided yours was our favorite. Would it be okay to post some of the pictures I took of it on my blog? Thanks, Happy Weekend- Sarah

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  13. Sarah, of course you can post pics of my book! I posted some before I mailed it in. I'm glad to know you saw it, and honored it was a favorite. My only gripe about the sketchbook project is that there are SO many sketchbooks and therefore your book doesn't get viewed much at all. As a matter of fact, when they select books for you to look at (unless you request a book by someone specific), the selection process isn't totally random. Basically they try to pick books that have not yet been seen, which means your book sits there unopened. I get an email notification every time my book is viewed, (I got one today saying you had seen it!) and it was viewed twice in NYC (once by me checking on it, and once by someone else) and has not been viewed again since until you and your friends open it. I always tell kids that art is meant to be seen, so this definitely disappoints me. So blog away, I'm happy to share my artwork with other bloggers! :-) Thanks!!

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  14. Hi, Phyl. Do you happen to know the name of the artist or of the sketchbook that used crochet? Thanks!
    Susan

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    1. Oh, gosh, thanks for commenting, but unfortunately I can't help you with that! This was 3 years ago, and there were 10,000 sketchbooks in the room. We had to pick ones to view at random. And the Sketchbook Project, and the Brooklyn Art Library's associated projects have grown astronomically since then with a huge web presence. I frankly can't imagine how this teeny place manages to store and catalog the volume of sketchbook it receives. I am still on their email list but have not actually participated since that time. Just too many things to do!

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    2. Thanks for your reply! I thought it might be a shot in the dark. Maybe I'll get lucky browsing their digital library. :-)

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  15. Thanks for posting this! I had started a sketchbook, but didn't finish in time to submit it. I found your post, because I'm working on a crocheted book of my poems on crochet.I'm also a handpapermaker and plan to use handmade paper. But I'm concerned about structure -- want to use old hooks in the structure -- but I use and love my old hooks. In search of ideas of what others have done, I got to see a crochet book. Grateful for your sharing!

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    1. Akua, what you are doing sounds fascinating and lovely! What a commitment!!! I'd love to somehow see what it looks like when it is done!

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