Members of the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Fall 2015 Drawing II class have been filling small sketchbooks with all kinds of art this semester as they participate in the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project. Before their finished sketchbooks are submitted to the Project, however, the class will be giving the campus and community a special sneak peek at their work by hosting a show on Friday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. in the Pullen Art Gallery as part of the First Friday Art Walk. This event is free and the public is invited to attend.
The Brooklyn Art Library is an independent Brooklyn-based company that organizes global, collaborative art projects. Its flagship endeavor is The Sketchbook Project, a crowd-sourced library that features 33,876 artists’ books contributed by creative people from more than 135 countries.
UMPI Assistant Professor of Art Heather Sincavage and her Drawing II class decided earlier this semester to participate in the Project. Not only does this project allow students the opportunity to showcase and publish their artwork in an easily accessible format that will be kept at the Brooklyn Art Library in Brooklyn, NY, but individual sketchbooks will also be scanned by both UMPI and the Brooklyn Art Library and posted on their respective websites, making them available to a global audience.
Sincavage has followed the Sketchbook Project for several years and has pitched it to several classes as a potential project, but this semester was the first time one of her classes has chosen to participate in this worldwide endeavor.
“I think it’s an excellent way to share what our students are doing in an easy and digestible fashion,” Sincavage said. “The project itself, though it looks small, is quite challenging. It’s beyond your typical sketchbook, which is a brain dump of studies, ideas, and sketches. This is more like an artist book following a given theme. Students have to compose individual pages, then think how those pages will fit within the larger book.”
Each participating member of the class chose an individual theme for their sketchbook. This became their guideline for the subject matter of their individual 30-plus page sketchbook they must fill by the end of semester. Along with the theme guidelines, each student also was assigned a Brooklyn Art Library bar code on the back of their sketchbook and had to register their code online and fill out information on their piece such as genre and age rating.
“I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be participating in something as unique as the Sketchbook Project with my Drawing II class,” said Monica Quist, a junior from Limestone who is studying Fine Art. “We were able to pitch our ideas and get feedback about our books in progress as well as share and encourage our fellow classmates with theirs. I think getting our little art community together to express ourselves and our work in a different way is amazing and I think I can speak for myself and my class that we are so excited to be a part of something bigger.”
The project provides UMPI students with the unique opportunity to be part of an art-based effort on a global scale. Currently, the Sketchbook Project has artists from more than 100 participating countries that are showcased together in the Brooklyn Art Library. One of the Project’s goals is to give artists an outlet, both physically and electronically, to have their art shown on a semi-professional level.
Students have been working on their projects in between assignments since the beginning of semester. Their sketchbooks give them a chance to showcase their unique art style and perspective while representing UMPI and The County.
Participants for the Sketchbook Project are: Rebecca Bowers, Ethan Campbell, Sarah Coons, Arianna Forbes, Corbet McCready, Danielle Moulton, Monica Quist, Roldena Sanipass, Lauryn Wegmann, Emma Ruff, and Heather Sincavage.
The work on display during the Nov. 6 show in the Pullen Art Gallery will encompass about 66% progress from each sketchbook, or approximately 21 pages. Participants will also give a small talk about their projects and have a written artist’s statement featured with their respective works.
For more information about this event, please contact Sincavage at firstname.lastname@example.org.