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Sketchbook Project's library to visit Sept. 3-4




It's not a taco truck, but it does satisfy a kind of hunger - to view and create art, and share it with the world. It's The Sketchbook Project's Mobile Library, and it's coming to the Indianapolis Art Center Sept. 3 and 4 from 2-8 p.m.

The Mobile Library allows you to check out for free any of approximately 4,500 traveling sketchbooks made by Sketchbook Project participants. If you'd like, you can participate by buying a blank book (in physical or digital form) and mailing it back in time (by Jan. 15, 2014) for it to be included in next year's Mobile Library tour.

Those with drawing anxiety should fear not: The project's motto is "And don't even say, 'But I'm not an artist.'" "We feel that anyone could do it regardless of their background or talent level," says Ben Shine, director of communications at the Indianapolis Art Center. "It's more about the process than it is about being perfect."

The Sketchbook Project has a home base in the Brooklyn Art Library in Brooklyn, New York, where the permanent collection of 27,843 sketchbooks is housed. It was hatched in 2006 by two college friends - Steven Peterman and Shane Zucker - attending the Savannah College of Art and Design. More than 27,000 people worldwide have now participated.

The Mobile Library will be stationed in the Art Center parking lot, adjacent to the tree-shaded ArtsPark. "So people are going to be able to take their books out to browse on the banks of the White River," says Shine. It's currently making its way through the Midwest on its annual summer tour; after Indianapolis comes Milwaukee, by way of Alexandria, Va.

Jessica Sugerman, an assistant director of The Sketchbook Project, was on tour with the Mobile Library last summer and has fond memories. "We'd been touring with the project for consecutive years in Austin, L.A. and San Francisco but increasingly we were visiting new cities that we haven't been to before," she says. "We were at a tour stop and someone came up, not knowing what it was and said 'I thought this was a food truck, but, hey, this is cool."

Indianapolis Art Center, September 3 and 4, 2-8 p.m.
Free to browse; $25 for basic sketchbook, $60 digital

A spread from Emily Balseys peanut butter-loving sketchbook, included in this years Mobile Library.
  • A spread from Emily Balsey's peanut butter-loving sketchbook, included in this year's Mobile Library.


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