Field Trip Friday: Brooklyn Art Library

A few weekends ago, OHNY staffer Hae-In went to the Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg for the opening of the Sketchbook Project: 2011.

Brooklyn Art Library

The sketchbooks have been submitted by 28,838 artists from 94 countries and anyone could participate, using provided moleskin sketchbooks. The results are on display before the show goes on the road, beginning a tour of galleries and museums around the nation later this week on March 6.


The sketchbooks will be traveling across the country, from the Austin Museum of Art to 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, with stops in Chicago and Atlanta along the way. After the tour, all the sketchbooks will come back to Brooklyn and enter the Brooklyn Art Library’s permanent collection, where they will be available for public viewings again.

library rules

Each book has been given a unique barcode and is cataloged into The Brooklyn Art Library system. Readers receive a library card and can then check them out (although they cannot leave the space), or have the librarians pick at random from a list of categories such as “Magical Maps” and “Coffee and Cigarettes.” The system also allows the artists to track where on the tour their book is viewed and how many times someone pulled it from the shelf.

People reading

Founded in 2006 by Steven Peterman and Shane Zucker, Art House Co-Op opened the space on North 3rd Street last December, as a physical home for the collective’s creative projects — their “archive of visual inspiration.” In addition to serving as a storefront reading room, the library also serves as exhibition space and and sells a variety of sketchbooks, journals and stationary, including vintage books and their own line of paper goods, called Pocket Dept.

library cards station

Art House Co-op conceptualizes and produces interactive group art projects. Each new project always has two phases: the collection of work from a community of artists around the world and the work’s presentation.

check out station

They are currently seeking submissions for an ongoing photo project called A Million Little Pictures. Professional and amateur artists are equally encouraged to submit their art. The Photomobile is a custom-built library of photographs housed inside an Airstream trailer. In September 2011, it will embark on an epic U.S. tour, traveling to galleries, museums, and alternative project spaces. Viewers will be able to enter the Photomobile to experience the exhibition and to use it as an extensive picture library, searching for photographs by name, theme or location. You will have 27 frames to explore your subject matter, keeping with one of their guiding themes like  “People I Know” or “Lights and Beams,” and your fully loaded camera is due back to Art House by March 31.

Find out how to get involved here.

The Brooklyn Art Library is open Tuesday to Sunday from 12 – 8pm.

The Brooklyn Art Library
103 A N 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11211


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