Food trucks have achieved an almost annoying ubiquity. So, it’s very refreshing to learn of The Sketchbook Project, a traveling, crowd-sourced art project operating out of a custom-built “bookmobile.” Instead of mobile tacos or ice cream, it’s mobile art, mobile storytelling.
Husband-and-wife team Steven and Sara Peterman started The Sketchbook Project in 2006, encouraging participants to fill the pages of empty sketchbooks. The collection currently includes over 26,000 sketchbooks that are cataloged in the Brooklyn Art Library, where Sara is director.
This summer they are taking the bookmobile out for a Summer Tour, visiting 32 cities in four months. The Petermans will be bringing a selection of 4,500 completed sketchbooks from their collection to share with the public. They will be documenting their adventures on the Summer Tour for an upcoming book, which will also provide a behind-the-scenes peek at the process of the project.
People from varied backgrounds come together through The Sketchbook Project to share their stories in an artistic, tangible manner. “Given all the ways that technology has integrated with our lives, it feels meaningful to meet new people over physical books,” said Steven. “This project is about people leaving their mark in the world.”
The Sketchbook Project will be at SPACE Gallery on Congress Street from 4-8 PM on June 14. Stop by the bookmobile to meet the Petermans and other artistically-inclined Mainers, sketch to your heart’s content, and peruse the many completed sketchbooks that will be on display. This is one “truck” that will outlast the current trend and leave a legacy.