The Huffington Post Review


I read Huffington Post every night before bed, (yes, I know it’s bad to have a bright screen pointed towards your eyes at night blah blah) so it’s totally insane that I’d be a part of something with a review in this particular publication. Thank you so much, Katherine Brooks, for writing this cool little piece and many many thanks to The Sketchbook Project for making one of my dreams come true.

Read the full review on their site or right below!

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The Huffington Post  |  By

In less than a decade, the Sketchbook Project has been able to collect more than 30,000 sketchbooks offered up by individuals spanning 130 countries and six continents. This month, the Brooklyn-based organization releases the fruits of its labor in a 256-page tome dedicated to a crowd-sourced library of doodles, drawings, scribbles and scrawls.

The Sketchbook Project began in 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, before making New York City its permanent home three years later. Nestled in a storefront space in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, dubbed the Brooklyn Art Library, the locale plays home to the work of artists from Croatia, Argentina, South Africa, Japan and more.


The Brooklyn Art Library
How it works: artists who stumble across the Sketchbook Project’s website can request a blank book, and a blank book they shall receive. Their duty is to fill it with musings, everything from comics to portraits to text to collage. Once the book is filled, they ship the treasure back and it becomes part of the project. Librarians add a barcode and catalogue each piece with searchable details. Visitors to the library can then physically flip through the work, engaging with an artist’s visual diary from just about any corner of the world.

“When the Sketchbook Project first started, we never imagined where it would take us,” founders Steven Peterman and Shane Zucker write in an introduction to their new book, aptly titled The Sketchbook Project World Tour, published by Princeton Architectural Press. “We now have a place where anyone is accepted, and a community is created along the way.”


The timing of this project is not lost on the founders. While amateurs and professionals alike flock to platforms like Tumblr and Instagram to showcase their work daily, Peterman and Zucker ask their participants to deal in the physical realm. Submissions arrive via snail mail, destined to be democratically sifted into an archive that has an IRL checkout system. While the founders have a digital library too, the Sketchbook project depends on the desires of artists to go analog.

And artists seem eager to do so. “I have always doodled on all sorts of paper and in sketchbooks,” Swedish World Tour participant Pär Boström explained in an interview in the book, “But with the Sketchbook Project I tried to create a story, make something more solid. A sort of journey.”

“As I tend to draw strange animals,” he added, “I prefer to be in the company of cats. Their personalities are the best inspiration.”


Founders Steven Peterman and Shane Zucker
We asked the Sketchbook Project to send us a selection of pieces from around the world, indicative of the organization’s truly international reach. Below is a global tour of art, as seen through people’s sketchbooks.

  • Tokyo, Japan
    Baigo Liao
  • Giv’at Avni, Israel
  • Jenny Lumelsky
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Umea, Sweden
    Par Bostrom
  • Baia Mare, Romania
  • Julia Yellow
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Carlos Campos
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Stephanie Marihan
  • Khartoum, Sudan
  • Milan, Italy
    Manfroi Patrizia
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
    Warren Thompson
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AIGA Review

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Perrin Drumm, of AIGA, wrote a sweet little piece about The Sketchbook Project World Tour on May 11th, 2015! Read it on their site, or below!

Visit the Creative Communities of the World In One Big Sketchbook

by Fausto Montanari

by Fausto Montanari
by OrlandsoyYo
by Carson Fox


May 11, 2015

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t keep a notebook of some kind. From artists and designers to writers, musicians, comedians, and entrepreneurs (even my businessman dad keeps a stack of yellow legal pads for his ideas), there isn’t a profession that can’t benefit from a little pen-to-paper action. Whether the founders of The Sketchbook Project knew it or not, they were tapping into a universally shared practice when they began their crowd-sourced library of sketchbooks in Atlanta, Georgia back in 2006. Now, nearly 10 years later, they’ve received submissions from over 30,000 creative folks who’ve sent them in from nearly 150 different countries. When the books aren’t making the rounds in the mobile library, they’re housed at the Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg, an exhibition space and reading room open to the public.


If you can’t make it to Brooklyn, or you’d prefer not to wade through wall-to-wall bookcases for a diamond in the rough, pick up a copy of The Sketchbook Project World Tour book, (out now from Princeton Architectural Press). In it, the authors have have combed through all the sketchbooks and selected their favorites organized by continent, with special sections devoted to contributors from the U.S., Argentina, Sweden, Croatia, South Africa, Dubai, Japan, and Australia.

Though the design of the book is something of a missed opportunity (not that it ought to mimic a Moleskine or anything, but the bar is automatically raised for any publication that champions creativity), the project itself is a prime example of how a small-scale endeavor can garner global attention through an innovative exhibition model—in this case, a permanent space with a mobile library, traveling shows, and now a book. And there’s no doubt that as The Sketchbook Project amasses more books, they’ll invent ever more creative ways of bringing the exciting, tactile experience of opening a stranger’s sketchbook and discovering what’s inside, out to the public. For those who want to add their own sketchbook to the collection, buy the book to get inspired and nab a 25 percent code for the entry fee.Eye on Design

by Jamie Palmer

by Jamie Palmer

by Anne Wenkel, Ekaterina Koroleva, and Ulia Benz

by Anne Wenkel, Ekaterina Koroleva, and Ulia Benz
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Colossal Review

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Kate Sierzputowski, of Colossal: Design and Visual Culture, wrote a review for The Sketchbook Project World Tour on May 5th, 2015! Read the article on the site or right here!

The Sketchbook Project Publishes a Printed Glimpse Into Their Global Sketchbook Community


The Sketchbook Project began in 2006 by co-founders Steven Peterman and Shane Zucker as a way to disseminate hands-on art making via the virtual world. Since its inception in Atlanta, GA and move to New York City in 2009, the project has grown into a massive crowd-sourced library that features 33,724 sketchbooks from over 135 countries. This extensive collection can be viewed in person at the project’s exhibition space at the Brooklyn Art Library, online in their digital archive, and at pop-ups around the country in their mobile library.

Now entering the project’s ninth year, the co-founders have published a compendium of their collection of sketches from around the globe titled The Sketchbook Project World Tour. Peterman and Zucker believed it would be unfair for the book to represent the entirety of the project, and rather aim for the publication to serve as a glimpse into the community they have supported for nearly a decade. “Sketchbooks over the years have served as shared memoirs to cancer survivors, inspired some to return to art school, and have been a daily practice to re-inspire the dormant or budding artists. You will read accounts by people you have never met,” they explain in the book’s introduction.

The book’s foreword is written by our very own, Christopher Jobson, who in 2012 had the opportunity to curate a selection of sketchbooks for The Sketchbook Project’s first national Mobile Library tour. The book, printed byPrinceton Architectural Press, is available today in the Colossal Shop.

UPDATE: The Sketchbook Project is also having an event and panel discussion hosted by the New York Public Library on May 20th.





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The Sydney Morning Herald Review

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The Sketchbook Project World Tour had a review in The Sydney Morning Herald on April 3rd, 2015! Check it out on the site or read it here! (And yes, I like looking at high-end furniture, hence the add for Arhaus.)


“Jo Buckland can’t remember what she drew in the 36-page sketchbook back in 2010. When a friend told the then 20-year-old Victorian College of the Arts student about a crowd-sourced art project based at the Brooklyn Art Library in New York, she sent away for one of the $US25 A5 sketchbooks on offer. When she returned it, filled with drawings, it was catalogued and added to the library’s shelves, along with more than 32,000 others from around the world.

Buckland’s sketches were the stuff of everyday life – a pill bottle, UHT milk capsules, a disposable toothbrush – with labels noting the date, the materials and the origin of each item. Some of them have now made it into a book on the project, The Sketchbook Project World Tour.

Hers is one of 50 sketchbooks from Australia, including around a dozen from Melbourne, among the hundreds of sketchbooks featured.

Sarah Catherine Firth in her East Brunswick home/studio.

(Left: Sarah Catherine Firth in her East Brunswick home/studio. Photo: Simon O’Dwyer)

Another was created by Elizabeth Banfield, a printmaker who uses linocuts to make artists books. Her sketchbook was a tactile object. Working with the theme The Museum of Forgetting, she made linocuts of leaves from her Dandenongs garden and stitched them into the book. “Then I cut through the holes insects had eaten in the original leaf – so you could see through to something that was on the other side.”

When the Australian sketchbooks were included in a show at VCA in 2013, Banfield visited and took her own book out, along with the book that sits beside it on the shelf, which is the library’s usual practice.

“I looked at my own book because I hadn’t seen it for a year or two, and then I got an email at home: ‘Elizabeth B has looked at your sketchbook’. I also got one by another Melbourne printmaker, John Ryrie, quite randomly.”

Elizabeth Banfield's sketchbook.(Left: Elizabeth Banfield’s sketchbook. Photo: The Sketchbook Project World Tour)

The crowd-sourced art project has attracted all kinds of sketchers – artists, printmakers, illustrators and graphic designers such as Bec Feiner.

Feiner heard about it from a friend and decided to order a sketchbook. Over 30 consecutive days, she documented the different routes she took from where she was living in Abbotsford to her workplace in Brunswick. Thirty lines wind through the pages, overlapping and tangling like a deconstructed London Underground map, one for each journey on different trams and on foot.

“The different colours are different routes. It’s all secretly coded,” she says. Not so coded are the buildings along the route: landmarks such as St Patrick’s Cathedral and the old art deco change rooms at Princes Park on Royal Parade, rendered in careful line drawings from photos she took on the trips. It’s an architectural tour of inner Melbourne, and because Feiner opted to pay the extra $US60 to have her sketchbook digitised,  it’s available to anyone in the world who cares to look.

Bec Feiner's sketchbook.(Left: Bec Feiner’s sketchbook. Photo: The Sketchbook Project World Tour)

Some sketchbookers are people who just draw for pleasure, such as Michelle Mun, a final-year dentistry student at the University of Melbourne and self-confessed “fan-art nerd”.

Some sketchbookers are people who just draw for pleasure, such as Michelle Mun, a final-year dentistry student at the University of Melbourne and self-confessed “fan-art nerd”.

Mun’s sketchbook, themed The Last Word Ever Spoken, contains illustrations of characters and scenes from books such as Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, The Little Prince and even a steampunk version of Pride and Prejudice.

Mun’s sketchbook, themed The Last Word Ever Spoken, contains illustrations of characters and scenes from books such as Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, The Little Prince and even a steampunk version of Pride and Prejudice.

While she usually works in Photoshop, the sketchbook drawings are done with black ballpoint in a romantic style that is reminiscent of Japanese teen manga – beautiful boys and girls in fantastic, evocative settings.

Michelle Mun's sketchbook.

(Left: Michelle Mun’s sketchbook. Photo: The Sketchbook Project World Tour)

Mun, who used to draw with a group of friends during lunchtimes at Methodist Ladies College, says she usually draws in response to a book or a movie. “When I started I drew a lot of fan art – characters from TV shows. And I was really into anime.”

During a visit to the Brooklyn library, she took her sketchbook out. “I like to keep my art,” she says. “So thinking of it all the way over there in Brooklyn – it was like, ‘My baby, so far away’.”

Sarah Catherine Firth makes her living from various creative activities, among them creating short animated films for the United States Comedy Channel and graphic recording, a form of visual note-taking used to facilitate conferences and other group presentations.

Jo Buckland's sketchbook.(Left: Jo Buckland’s sketchbook. Photo: The Sketchbook Project World Tour)

“People like to try and figure out what I am,” Firth says. “But I’m many things. The thing that pins it all together is drawing narrative and action.”

She shared a sketchbook with her sister, Adi, an award-winning comic artist. They drew comic strips about different weeks in their lives over three months, calling it Adi and Sarah Draw Life. It’s a mix of panels about battling weevil plagues in the kitchen, holidays in Fiji and going back to university as a mature-age student.

“We do quite a lot of collaborative work together. We come from the kind of family where we play drawing games and create stuff together. It’s part of our family culture,” says Firth.

Deb Taylor's sketchbook.(Left: Deb Taylor’s sketchbook. Photo: The Sketchbook Project World Tour)


“I get very inspired by people – the world – stuff, and I want to capture it,” she says. “It’s usually real stories that I find bizarre or interesting. I want to pick them up and weave them into art, rather than creating fictional narratives. That’s the common thread between what we did for the sketchbook project and my other work.”

Brunswick artist and art teacher Deb Taylor picked up a blank sketchbook from the library in 2011. “I was in New York and I had an opportunity to go to the Art Library,” she says. “Most of the sketchbooks were out on tour, so there was only a small selection.”

She meant to use the sketchbook as a travel journal, “but that didn’t happen”.

Cover of <i>The Sketchbook Project</i>.(Left: Cover of The Sketchbook Project)

“When I was in New York I came across a little collection of cards that had cutouts. They were all different colours, and depending on what card was underneath what other card, you would get different geometric patterns happening.

“When I got home I thought, OK, I’m going to use this idea of the cutouts and just have a play around with collage and drawing and make something that’s a bit more interactive than some of the things that I’d seen, still lives or a narrative-based series of images.” Taylor’s sketchbook was made for flipping, with the cutouts offering glimpses of what’s to come on the following pages.

“The beauty of this project is that it’s actually not aimed at artists at all,” says Taylor. “The purpose is to encourage people to make art and just do it within the limitations of an A5 notebook. And the inspiration is seeing the diversity of what people do.”

The Sketchbook Project World Tour is published this month.”

 -Matt Holden

Read more:


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Sketchbook Project World Tour Feature



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My copy of The Sketchbook Project’s first printed collection from the 2012 world tour is here! One of the pieces from my sketchbook, Body Ladders, is on page 52 for the North American chapter. Go buy a copy from The Sketchbook Project’s site or at Amazon and see it for yourself! YAY. Here’s more information on the book for your curiosity:

The Sketchbook Project World Tour is a book curated by The Sketchbook Project’s own Sara Elands Peterman and Steven Peterman, showcasing spreads from sketchbooks in the collection by incredible artists around the world. Artists in the book have already been contacted and listed here.

“Destined to go down as one of the era’s most astonishing global art projects, the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project has, in less than a decade, amassed more than thirty thousand sketchbooks submitted by people of all ages and artistic abilities from more than 130 countries. Bursting with color, vivid imagery, and bouts of whimsy mixed with deeply intimate insights, the sketchbooks capture the texture of personal experience in a dizzying variety of illustrative styles and layouts that run the gamut from street portraits to stream-of-consciousness doodles, comics, and pop-ups. The Sketchbook Project World Tour presents the most compelling, surprising, and visually stunning examples from this one-of-a-kind artistic treasury.” 

    • Features hundreds of Sketchbook Project artists from around the world
    • Published by Princeton Architectural PressForeword by Chris Jobson of Colossal
    • Full color, 8″x10″, 256 pages
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Interview With 365artists/365days

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YOU GUYS. My interview with 365artists/365days is up. Go read it on the site OR right here….

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F: Briefly describe the work you do.

B: My body of work includes intricate ink drawings on paper and euphonic processed field recordings. The drawings and musical arrangements share a common thread of representing textural micro-landscapes, articulated through obsessive (and meditative) mark-making, and  improvised composition.

F: Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

B: When I was little, I began to stay up until dawn drawing people, patterns, and patterns in people while blasting music through my headphones. I love drawing. I always have. But once I became a teenager, in order to stand out from my peers, (besides dyeing my hair funny colors and listening to Post Punk) I set aside my fancy pens and paper and started figure painting in oils. Drawing became a means to an end.

Folks said I was pretty good at rendering people in oils, so I assumed it was my calling. In retrospect, it’s totally counterintuitive because I was trying to be an individual, but by doing what others expected of me. So I struggled with the preparation, mess, slow drying time, expenses, and cumbersome canvases until the age of 21. Then I started making dumb drawings with my college friends while we drank beer and smoked too many cigarettes. Gradually, I started drawing on my own and I remembered how natural it felt. My paintings became more abstract and I began incorporating patterns over the figures. It was the summer before my senior year when BAM! I stopped painting. Everyone thought I dropped out because my senior thesis was just a huge drawing/sound installation.

It was pretty scary at first, discarding an entire body of work and starting anew. Scary, but liberating. I still tried to include figures into my drawings, but found I was having more fun with the textures and geometric shapes. I ousted those too. Life’s too short to fight what you love.


F: The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

B: I literally lived in my studio until I moved a couple months ago. Now I sleep and eat in different parts of the house but still spend 80% of my time in my private space. My studio isn’t solely for my practice as a visual artist. I have all my gear for making electronic music and turntable down here…and I do mundane things like send emails, pay bills, and buy records from Discogs. Actually, I guess I still do live in my studio. What can I say? Old habits die hard. I think I need to be close to my work because, when I take breaks from life, I can either work or just spend time with my pieces; figure out the next plan of attack or put my ‘In Session’ sign on the door and kick out the jams for seven hours.

F: What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

I never expected to become a musician. I’ve always had a perpetual soundtrack to my days…and nights. I sleep with headphones on actually. (Although, I do get down to some Cage 4’33” now and then.) Needless to say, I am a slave to music. So it would make sense that I’d become a musician right? Nope. When I was younger, I’d perform in musicals and choir, and even took voice lessons for many years. It was TERRIFYING singing someone else’s material. I felt I could never perform a piece that would do the artist’s intent justice. Maybe I was being hard on myself, but hey, that’s how I felt. My senior year, when I experienced that insane paradigm shift in my work, I randomly started screwing around with some free DAW’s and decided to take a Sound class to fulfill my required digital elective. I made some of my first compositions and even included one for my senior thesis. A year later, I released an album, was awarded a grant, have been featured on many comps, and perform around Baltimore. Crazy.

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F: When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

B: I’ve always worked best at night because I know I’ll have completely uninterrupted, sublime, and delectable solitude. Unfortunately, it’s always negatively affected my performance during daylight hours. My teachers used to tell me I work really hard and produce great results, but I am a terrible student. All those late nights in the studio really take a toll on your punctuality and attendance. Thank goodness I’m not battling dawn for my degree anymore.

F: How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?

B: For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into much detail since I basically explained how my work has changed in the previous response regarding my background. All I’ll say is that I am finally on a path I’ve always wanted and needed to follow.

F: How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

B: I am extremely fortunate in that I come from a family of creatives whom have been nothing short of cheerleaders for me and my aspirations. Two of my great great aunts were successful sculptors and photographers, my great grandfather was a famous architect and designer in upstate New York, my grandmother was a notable painter who sold a piece to the Rockefeller family, my sister has a background in dancing, and my mother is a very talented writer and painter. My father was an electrical engineer, scientist, and inventor who had fifteen patents attributed to his life’s work. He dabbled in blacklight paintings and (although he didn’t know it at the time) created light and sound installations. Really psychedelic stuff. For his work, he’d do these incredibly detailed hand drawn schematics that I found to be so captivating for their complexity and cryptic ideograms. As I said, I am so lucky to have had such a creative heritage.

F: Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?

B: In college I pursued a triple minor in curatorial studies, creative writing with a focus on poetry, and art history. I guess I can still utilize any of three if I muster up the will. I’ve often daydreamed about becoming a music or art critic or maybe even a teacher. I’m too much of a people pleaser to crit anyone’s work beyond that of my friends and acquaintances and don’t want to have to deal with kids who are worse students than I was. So those three are pretty unrealistic. Another entirely quixotic (and lesser known) wish I’ve had since adolescence is to become a neurosurgeon. Perhaps I satisfy that desire with the amount of dexterity required for my work…and I’ve been told parts of my drawings look like scrambled brains. In truth, I’d never trade my studio practice for anything of those things. As I said earlier, don’t fight what you love.

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Beth Brown is a visual artist and experimental musician practicing in Baltimore, MD. She was born and attended school in Houston, TX where she started to show an interest in drawing, music, and storytelling. At the age of three, Brown began spending her weekends in a remote part of East Texas and utilized the solitude to pursue her interests. The prolonged shifting between city and country landscapes inspired her to capture the differing shapes, patterns, sounds, and narratives on paper and field recording based musical compositions.

In 2007, Brown attended the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD to pursue a BFA in painting. After three years of tutelage in figure painting, her work went in an entirely different direction and focused on her first loves; drawing, music, and storytelling. She graduated in 2011 and shortly thereafter released her first album and won a grant for her experimental music compositions and phonography. Her visual art has been featured in exhibitions across the United States and publications including Manifest Gallery’s 9th International Drawing Annual, Visual News, Forage Press, The Sketchbook Project’s World Tour, and Juxtapoz. Critics have called her work “a beautiful phenomenon” and “iconic across mediums.” She plans to further her career as a visual artist and musician through releasing another album and expand her body of work.


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Hey guys! I have a feature in Manifest Gallery’s IDNA (International Drawing Annual). The book will be available sometime around May and you should grab a copy before it runs out! Here’s some info on the publication:

“For the INDA 9 Manifest received 1508 submissions from 580 artists in 46 states, Washington D.C., and 32 countries. The publication will include 116 works by 82 artists from 30 states, Washington D.C., and 7 countries including South Africa, Spain, the Netherlands, France, England, Canada, and the United States. Essays by Patricia Emison and Jane Zich will also be included.

Fourteen professional and academic advisors qualified in the fields of art, design, and art history juried this 9th International Drawing Annual. The process of selection was by anonymous blind jury, with each jury member assigning a quality rating for artistic merit to each work submitted. The entries receiving the highest average combined score will be included in this publication.

After the publication is produced and released to the public (by early 2015) this Online Supplemental Resource will provide biographical info, artist statements, and details of sample works for each artist included in the publication.”

I’ll keep you posted on it’s progress, but until then, you should check out the list of all the artists featured in this edition!

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Photo on 9-9-14 at 9.49 PM #3


I currently have seven of Constriction No.8, BUT I’ll have more in varying sizes over the course of 2015. The prints are true to scale and Hahnemühle German Etching on acid-free cotton rag. They are both pleasing to the eye and touch…well, not that I’d recommend touching them or anything. Right now I’m selling them at $230.00, but I’m always willing to barter or do a trade. Just shoot me an email for any inquiries!

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The Windup Space Presents: “Constrictions”


Alright you guys. Solo show is up and running. The opening reception is Friday, September 19th from 6pm-8pm at The Windup Space (12 W. North Ave, Baltimore MD 21201). Here is a link to the Facebook event page if you’re into that sort of thing. I’ll be posting photos throughout the course of the show. The red one in the middle is actually from a metal show the night after the work was installed. Great way to kick off an exhibit right?! …did I mention there will be a dance party at the same place starting at 10pm of the 19th…?

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Constriction No.8


Constriction No.8, 22″x30″, ink on paper

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