Project Sketchbook: community collaboration through art | Arts & Culture
A room full of sketchbooks that fit comfortably in the palm of your hand hung from a sixteen foot wall by twine in an art exhibition last weekend.
The show is called Project Sketchbook – this is its third successful year.
It is a call to artists or idealists in a community-wide collaborative effort to share notable thoughts, drawings, or whatever creative theme thought of in a twenty-page homemade sketchbook.
The exhibition was located at the Power House downtown – but the process began in the makeshift headquarters in Lauren Rae Holtermann's in-home studio in October of 2011.
The project is an annual mail-art project organized by the Rozelle Artists Guild – a group of twenty-something art school graduates working as a collective around Memphis.
More than 350 miniature sketchbooks were a hand cut, assembled, sewed, stamped, packaged, and then mailed out.
Many of the sketchbooks were made on Rozelle Artist Guild members’ days off and in the evenings.
After the distribution, participants start filling out their notebooks.
Some filled the books with intriguing art that tells a story, others with observations; in the past some have turned it into elaborate paper sculptures.
Then the deadline hits – and the guild receives the sketchbooks back
From that point, the books that are returned are inventoried, and a committee votes on the best page or spread from each book. The winning pages are photographed and compiled into a catalog, which the guild sells to recuperate expenses.
The Power House was once an institution in the Memphis arts community, but has been closed since 2008. The space was reopened for the weekend to accommodate the Project Sketchbook exhibition.
Power House also hosted video installation from NYC-based artist Rashad Newsome, and interactive media projects from Jill Wissimiller's students at Memphis College of Art.
ArtsMemphis sponsored the space and the visiting artists, in conjunction with the 7th Annual Music Video Showcase hosted by Live From Memphis.