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2011 The Sketchbook Project by Deborah Davis

Art projects that span the globe drawing (punned!) many an artist together through participation resulting in a wealth of collaboration? Count me in! Thank you, Art House. Five years ago, with the lofty goal of bringing art to the masses, Art House began by featuring exhibitions at their gallery, the Brooklyn Art Library, not surprisingly, located in Brooklyn, New York.

Among the many, lies The Sketchbook Project, in which artists sign up to receive an 80 page sketchbook with the sole task of returning it by the due date filled entirely with their own work. The collected books then travel the country to various galleries and museums on exhibition where the public may “check out” any number of books while on site, and in the process, give recognition to a variety of artists. Once the tour is complete, all sketchbooks become part of the permanent collection housed at the Brooklyn Art Library available for the public to view in times to come.

Art House Mailing

Biddlefufty Barbra Two

This year’s stats boast a total of 28,839 blank sketchbooks sent out to artists in 94 countries. Nearly 10,000 were returned completed and are currently on tour! Included, you will find my contribution, a work ode to favorite album covers and lyrics from the past. Upon signing up to participate, I was presented with a small plethora of themes from which to choose in giving my book some semblance of order, and yes, remaining themeless was also an option. I settled on “Jackets, Blankets, and Sheets”, as “jackets” immediately brought to mind the aforementioned album covers, and with “sheets” came music, leaving “blankets” to be represented by the inclusion of found lyrics containing the word. In addition to the few works below, you will find several more on Facebook.

Biddlefufty Rubber Souled

With the book finished at last, I sent it off with minimal time to spare. Now, in perusing the work of others, I’ve encountered the weird and wonderful along with something more. That of a giving nature. When an artist takes the opportunity the project presents to reach the public to benefit those in need of care. Enter Matt Tames! A Boston based artist, he’s used his book as an extension of his site to showcase portraits of adoptable shelter and rescue animals in need of new homes. Visit him at Little BIG Pet Portraits.

Matt Tames Scottie

Matt Tames Pit Bull

If you’d like to participate in The Sketchbook Project for 2012, check out the Art House site this April or May when sign-ups are likely to be announced. Then, check the site to see when and where this massive collection will be near you!


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