A few weeks ago we drove down to Washington DC to check out a tour stop on the 2011 Sketchbook project route that my sweetie was a part of. I could have spent all day there.
What I loved about it was the process of randomly discovering gems as you page through sketchbooks of total strangers from around the world.
And overall, I think the project model is kind of brilliant–financially sustaining, participatory, smart.
Here’s the basic breakdown of how it works: they put out a call for artists. For $25 you register and get a sketchbook sent to you with a theme either you can pick from their list or have randomly assigned to you. You send it back by the deadline and then they tour with all the books that year.
When you go to a tour stop exhibit, you check in and get a library card. You can check out sketchbooks either by theme, artist name (if you know of someone in particular participating whose work you’d like to see), city or just total random check out. And then you hang out for as long as the place is open combing through the sketchbooks you’ve checked out. When you’re done you turn them in and start it all over again.
After they tour, the books end up back at their homestead in Brooklyn where you can go anytime to check out their backlog of sketchbooks.
The deadline to sign up to be a part of the 2012 exhibit is October 31, 2011. Sketchbooks are due by January 31, 2012. For more info and to sign up visit: http://arthousecoop.com/projects/sketchbookproject