The gallery show went in a fresh direction this year, showcasing the sketchbooks of local artists, architects, fashion designers, puppeteers, and children. I was also among local book artists who created interactive sketchbooks that attendees responded to, filling in with writings and drawings. Here's a look at some of the dozens of sketchbooks in the show, and you can see another 200 photos in an event photo album here.
With a mission of bringing art to underserved communities, myself and other book artists led classes teaching simple book structures and encouraging participants to fill them as sketchbooks and memory books. We taught children, senior citizens, and recent immigrants to Nashville. Our goal was to bring art to those who don't have access to art materials or the chance to explore the arts in their daily lives.
I taught several classes, including for children in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and at the Looby Center in North Nashville.
In another class, at Casa Azafran, we got to know a few mostly Spanish-speaking families from the center's parenting and English classes. (My husband got to test out his Spanish, including creating a cheat sheet of bookbinding terms.) Together, we bound simple, two-signature pamphlet stitch books. The covers of the books were made with watercolor paper, and students got to personalize their books, inside and out. The families took them home to fill them with personal stories, photographs, and other clippings that I think really helped them to stand out in the gallery.
In my book, "A Collection of Lines," I encouraged people to experiment with line drawings and patterns, as well as trying blind contour drawings of their friends. Another book asked them to share childhood memories, another invited collage work with provided magazine and newspaper clippings. I noticed one couple dedicate more than 20 minutes to doodling in the book I had bound!