Brooklyn Art Library is home to The Sketchbook Project. Nearly 34,000 sketchbooks from 135 countries line the shelves of this Williamsburg institution. Anyone can contribute by participating in an annual submission. This involves buying and filling in a blank sketchbook, which is then entered into the ever-growing collection. Vintage furniture in the library evokes the ambiance of a reading room from a bygone era, yet 21st century technology is used to catalog and view the sketchbooks. Available for purchase at Brooklyn Art Library are all the tools and art supplies any writer or artist requires to complete and decorate their volume. There is also an interesting collection of vintage ephemera for sale, as well as locally made T-shirts, pennants, and a book commemorating The Sketchbook Project. Tourists come to view submissions from their hometowns, friends, or themselves. Books have been used to memorialize friends and family members, as time capsules, and even a marriage proposal was hidden within a sketchbook. Steven Peterman co-founded the project with Shane Zucker, as a student ten years ago in Atlanta. Steven and his wife, Sara Elands Peterman, are now custodians of The Sketchbook Project. They are honored to have created a global community, and to share the project with a wider audience they have a mobile library, a custom fitted trailer, that they take touring around America. Some schools have even incorporated the project into their curriculum, and show their students Steven’s TEDx video. Sara has contributed four books to the library, and Steven two. Completing the books provides an insight into how much times goes into creating each book, and a perspective into the pressure involved in producing each work. From a viewers perspective it can become very addictive, randomly searching for hidden jewels on the shelves.
28 Frost St., Brooklyn