At TEDxRVA, breaks included art projects, food, conversation … and an archive of sketchbooks that looked a little more like a taco truck than a lending library.
The unconventional library was the work of speaker Steven Peterman, who is the co-founder of the Sketchbook Project, an effort to collect sketchbooks from people all over the world, and turn them into a global, traveling library — taking them on tour in a trailer very much resembling your favorite neighborhood food truck.
To participate in the project, a person signs up for a sketchbook on the project’s website and once registered, receives a sketchbook, a send-in date and a choice of several different themes to center your sketchbook around (past themes include “Strange Neighbors,” “Borders and lines” and “This is not about me”). Once submitted, your sketchbook is loaded onto The Sketchbook Project mobile library and goes on tour — becoming part of a worldwide community of artists, traveling across cities, and, in the end, living in The Sketchbook Project’s permanent library in Brooklyn, New York, where visitors can get a library card to check out sketchbooks.
Peterman traveled from the project’s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, to Richmond, Virginia, to speak at the event. Onstage, the artist spoke on the genesis of the project and the power of collaboration, and during breaks, he and the rest of the Sketchbook Project team served up sketchbooks in their Mobile Library.
For more information on the project, watch Peterman’s talk below: