Brooklyn’s Mobile Library Hits VCU Friday with International Sketchbook Collection

by | Mar 18, 2014 | ART

The Mobile Library, a part of the Sketchbook Project based in Brooklyn, New York, will be stopping at the Compass at Virginia Commonwealth University on Friday, March 21 from 1 to 5pm.


The Mobile Library, a part of the Sketchbook Project based in Brooklyn, New York, will be stopping at the Compass at Virginia Commonwealth University on Friday, March 21 from 1 to 5pm.

This is the second stop that the Mobile Library will take, right after its kickoff in Brooklyn. The tour will go on for six months stopping at over 20 major cities.

The Sketchbook Library is basically a library that houses sketchbooks from all over the world. The permanent collection at Brooklyn Art Library in New York, which has been collecting sketchbooks since 2006, contains over 30,000 sketchbooks from 135 different countries.

The Mobile Library will take about 4,500 sketchbooks on tour, making it an inspirational haven for anyone interested in getting ideas for their own art projects.

“It’s definitely a great place to come to be inspired. You get to really hold and flip through the books, so it’s definitely different from a normal gallery,” said Steven Peterman, founder and director of The Sketchbook Project. “People get to come and they get library cards, which actually starts our kiosk system so [you can search] anything from materials to the location of the artist.” This search allows you to browse international sketch artists from Asia to Europe.

“It’s a cool experience for anybody; you don’t need to be an artist to look at the books or to enjoy it. It’s a very human experience,” said Peterman.

You would think you have to be some professional artist to send a sketchbook to this project, but that’s not true at all. The sketchbooks’ authors include an incredibly diverse spectrum of people, from a cancer patient’s chronicle of their recovery to drawings made by distant friends.

“We have all different types of people [participating in the project]. We have little kids; we have senior citizens; we have college students… It really is a huge range of people and it’s sort of like being a part of the collection and community as a whole rather than the individual artists,” said Peterman.

Even you can participate in the project. The Mobile Library offers an opportunity for you to buy a blank sketchbook, work on it, and send it back so your sketchbook can be a part of the gallery. “Anyone can be a part of the project,” said Peterman. The Mobile Library is free and open to the public, and is family friendly.

Keep an eye out for the mobile library when it hits VCU this Friday at 11 AM

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

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