Williamsburg fave The Sketchbook Project is riding high–they recently hit 35,000 sketchbooks (that’s a lot of doodles) and they’ve also finally re-opened their storefront, the Brooklyn Art Library, in a new, bigger location at 28 Frost Street.
As we reported back in February, the move from North 3rd Street was partly pushed by a rent hike, but it also represents a shift in culture for the Brooklyn Art Library. Of course, they’re still sticking to the core model of inviting anyone and everyone (for a $25 fee) to fill out a Moleskine sketchbook, adding their doodles and dreams to the collection forevermore.
But with the new library three times larger, they hope to spend less energy on the retail side and make it more of a community space. “It’s a really much more intimate experience,” said Steven Peterman, one of the founders. “And one of the things we really wanted to do is turn this more into a museum space and make people feel comfortable to come work here.”
In the back, there’s a small co-working area that artists can rent by the month or the hour, complete with discounted art supplies that can be borrowed on the honor system, using Venmo, and iMacs outfitted with Adobe.
“Our whole idea is to make it affordable for artists,” Peterman said. “Instead of the typical Williamsburg co-working spaces that are like, hundreds of dollars, we are just charging $95 a month and trying to make it as affordable as possible for our artists and community.”
Upstairs, two private studios can be rented out. Peterman added that he hopes to keep up a robust rotation of classes and events. Coming up, there’s a comic artist showcase, a pop-culture branding class and a workshop led by an art therapist.
On May 13 swing by for the grand opening, which doubles as the launch of the new 2016 sketchbooks, just in. There’ll be free wine, a small exhibition of prints from the archives, and lot’s of good cheer.
Brooklyn Art Library, 28 Frost Street, near Union Ave. Open Tues-Sun, 12-6 p.m.