Okay – I’ve done it again. Signed up to do something creative that I’m not actually sure I can manage. But at least this thing has a lo-o-o-ng deadline (January 2013). It’s called The Sketchbook Project. The Brooklyn Art Gallery in New York is affiliated with the Art House Co-op, an independent company that organizes global, collaborative art projects. And they’re not kidding. Their flagship endeavor is the Sketchbook Project: an evolving library featuring more than 12,000 artists’ sketchbooks from 100 countries and counting. When I’ve added mine it will be 12,001. The point is that you don’t have to be an artist. You can fill the book with any creative effort. You choose a theme (usually, but not compulsorily) and then you have a year to fill the sketchbook they send you. There is a cost to enter. Prices start at $25, which gets you the Sketchbook, entry to the project, your book catalogued in the library, exhibited in NYC, and your artwork included in the printed book. That’s plenty, but if you want more, check the website.
Here’s what the Art House Co-op say about themselves:
By focusing on the intersection of hands-on art making and new technology, Art House Co-op nurtures community-supported art projects that harness the power of the virtual world to create something real.
I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I do know that my friend Adair Heitmann just sent in a book of haikus. Her topic: The writing on the wall.
In the meantime, in order to get your creative juices flowing (and in order to help raise money for the Project), there are things you can do without signing up for the whole Sketchbook Project. Over the next 10 weeks (which is when the Sketchbook Project 2013 launches) they’re offering a weekly project you can participate in. Or not, as you choose. Here’s the first one, which I thought sounded intriguing. There are only 500 spots per project. I’m # 27 for this one, since I just signed up for it. The deadline for signing up is March 1, and the deadline for sending stuff back is March 15th. Go on – I dare you.
Week One: Letters to Home
It’s been awhile, and the house you grew up in is starting to wonder about you… If your childhood home could hear you, what would you say? Letters to Home is a community art project that asks creative people like you to write a letter to your childhood home. Share an epic backyard adventure, ask a lingering question, or reveal a long-kept secret — we’ll transform our storefront exhibition space into a mailbox from the past. The letters will join us as a mini collection on the Sketchbook Project 2012 Tour!
They also have a free project called ‘The Meal’. Here’s their description of it:
One moment. One meal. One photograph. Let’s eat.
On February 24th at 12pm EST, join thousands of people around the world in a simultaneous global meal. Whether it’s breakfast in LA or a midnight snack in Beijing, let’s take a moment from our hectic lives and share it with strangers around the world. Snap a photo of yourself and your meal and mail it to us — we’ll create an exhibition from these self-portraits, documenting the world’s largest communal snack.
You can manage that, can’t you?