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Friday, July 26, 2013

Sketchbook Project Comes to San Francisco, Mobile Art Library Takes U.S. by Storm

Posted By on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 3:30 PM

A sketch from "Numbered, Weighed, Divided" by Greg Kletsel of Brooklyn, NY.
  • A sketch from "Numbered, Weighed, Divided" by Greg Kletsel of Brooklyn, NY.

Calling all art geeks -- self-proclaimed, professional, philistine and otherwise -- The Sketchbook Project is coming to San Francisco.

Founded in 2006 by by SCAD schoolmates Steven Peterman and Shane Zucker, The Sketchbook Project is an ever-evolving, crowd-sourced library of artists' sketchbooks
hailing from more than 130 countries.

"They really wanted to create something people could be involved in without the rigorous juried competitions, without the often closed doors of the art world scene they were coming up against," explains James Vanderberg, Senior Project Manager for The Sketchbook Project.

What started as "a funky gallery space" in Savannah, Georgia where Peterman and Zucker first held an open call for submissions, has since evolved into an impressive permanent collection of more than 27,000 sketchbooks celebrating the mind's eye of every color, creed, age, and aesthetic proclivity.

The Mobile Library comes to San Francisco to inspire (and blow) a few minds...
  • The Mobile Library comes to San Francisco to inspire (and blow) a few minds...

They have three libraries currently underway: the physical Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg where you can pop in and "check out" their slew of sketchbooks; the Digital Library for your virtual cruising pleasure in case you're not in the beautiful bowels of Brooklyn; and perhaps the most exciting of all (especially for us San Franciscans) is the Mobile Library, a tricked out, 16-foot trailer with kiosks and shelving that holds 14,000 books.

Better yet?

Currently it's traversing the country on its fifth annual tour.

"Sometimes books are for sale, but it's really a permanent lending library," says Vanderberg. "It's about growing this infinite collection of inspiring original works."

The Sketchbook Project has a clever, catalogue system that marks each book with a barcode and a number. Guests stroll up to the trailer's window and sign up for a physical library card, where your librarian scans it and allows you to search the collection using various criteria, including color use, profession, interests, content, medium, style -- all things the artist has used to tag their work.

"This is a sketchbook" by Klbc | Thu Phan Ho | Chi Minh, non, Vietnam
  • "This is a sketchbook" by Klbc | Thu Phan Ho | Chi Minh, non, Vietnam

"And you always get two," says Vanderberg. "The one you chose or looked for, and then one at random."

Intrigued? Excited even? Check out the Mobile Library from July 26-28 at the San Francisco Center for the Book, 300 De Haro Street: July 26 | 4:00 - 8:00pm; July 27 | 2:00 - 7:00pm; July 28 | 12:00 - 6:00pm.
Or submit your own!

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Katie Tandy

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