Nestled onto the most hipster of Williamsburg streets, inside the Brooklyn Art Library, a sketch of the world is in the works.
The collection at the Brooklyn Art Library is not what one might typically expect. All the books here are single edition specialties, hand-crafted by authors from across the globe. Started in 2006, the Sketchbook Project is a collection of over 26,000 books made by people in 135 countries, and all eventually residing permanently in Brooklyn.
An official Sketchbook Project sketchbook is given to all who decide to participate in the program. Sized at 5″ x 7″ the books are perfect to fill with either pictures or words. The sketchbooks are saddlebound, created out of recycled paper, are simple and ready for each author to transform. Each sketchbook is an ode to its’ creator, filled with whatever they wanted to share with the world. Some books resemble sketchpads and others an outlet to write a novel, but all the books tell a story. Each is a little slice of culture, a unique perspective from someone, somewhere.
Those who want to take part in the project purchase the base sketchbooks from the Brooklyn Art Library. Books for basic submission are $25 and for those wanting their sketchbooks digitally enshrined, it’s $60 for the tech versions. Each book comes with a region that it is assigned to tour and for participants who aren’t sure, they can chose where there’s will go later or leave it the Sketchbook Project gods to decide. Submissions for each tour are due by November 1st of the prior year. Once entered and completed the books are off for the world to enjoy.
Though the books all end up in Brooklyn, they first go on a year-long run across the country in traveling exhibitions. Each traveling collection is like the library in mini- a book made from a student in Singapore can be found alongside a Kansas City, Missouri soccer moms. Together the collection represents a contemporary shared heritage, a testament to our generation.
Brooklyn Art Library, 103a North 3rd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718 388 7941, daily 12-8PM