ACP’s Princeton Sketchbook Club Library showcases hundreds of diverse sketchbooks completed by local and nationwide participants. The public is invited to an Opening Celebration on Saturday, February 11 from 3-5pm.
Arts Council of Princeton’s “Princeton Sketchbook Club” Culminates in New Art Library, Open to the Public on February 11
NEWSROOM POST: Princeton, NJ
(PRINCETON, NJ) – In September 2022, the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) announced a community-wide project that would supply blank 5×8” sketchbooks to anyone interested in participating in a new artistic endeavor, the Princeton Sketchbook Club. By mid-December, 300 sketchbooks were picked up by locals and sent across the country to be filled with doodles, poetry, collage, or whichever medium the recipient chose to fill its pages.
On Saturday, February 11 from 3-5pm, the entire collection of sketchbooks will be displayed together for the first time in a new Sketchbook Library at the Arts Council. The public is invited to peruse the astonishing variety and inspiring display of creative community.
Like many ACP projects, the Sketchbook Club was open to artists of all ages and skill levels.
“Folks were writing to tell us that the Sketchbook Club was their first foray into making art, or that it was a welcome return to a forgotten practice”, says Sketchbook Club organizer and ACP Programming/Marketing Manager Melissa Kuscin. “At the same time, experienced artists were taking part alongside them. That juxtaposition is at the heart of the Club and made our time sketching together or sharing on Instagram so special. The only rule is that there were no rules: if you could dream it up, it could go in your sketchbook.”
The Princeton Sketchbook Club not only drew enthusiastic participation from its hometown and namesake, but attracted novice and professional artists from as far as Georgia, Ohio, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and California. Locals, however, had an added bonus: the ACP welcomed sketchers for twice-monthly “Sketch-In” opportunities, social gatherings where Club members chatted while working on their books and sharing materials and inspiration.
“A core group of participants met regularly and formed the most fun connection”, says Kuscin. “You’d never know they all met just weeks before and were tethered just by this new project. Jokes, baked goods, and art-making tips and tricks were shared; now, the group will continue to get together and make art after the Sketchbook Club culminates. That’s the dream when you begin such a project.”
The Princeton Sketchbook Club Library is on view in the Arts Council’s Solley Lobby Gallery beginning February 11. Hours are Mon-Thurs: 10am-6pm; Fri & Sat: 10am-4pm. Free and open to the public. For more information, visit artscouncilofprinceton.org.