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TOUR MAIL & the Prismacolor Drawing Table

At the start of the day, the markers and colored pencils are arranged like flowers in glass jars, the paper carefully set out in stacks symmetrically on either side. Setting up the Prismacolor Drawing Table before a show has somewhat of the air of setting the dinner table as you expectantly wait for guests to arrive. Whether they came to look at Sketchbooks or were just passing by, visitors are inevitably lured over to the Drawing Table by the bright Prismacolor materials and the possibility of making a piece of art. 

When they ask, “What’s going on over here?” it just gets better as I explain Tour Mail, the art swap we’re running as we take the Sketchbook Project to cities across North America. The colorful creations folks make at the Drawing Table are put inside envelopes, and they then get to choose which subsequent tour locales the surprise pieces of Tour Mail end up. In exchange for “sending off” some Tour Mail, participants receive a piece of art that someone at an earlier show created and designated for recipients in that city.

 

It’s been such an amazing experience to watch people sit down and spontaneously  create the words and images they’d like to send off to a total stranger. It’s even cooler to watch people open a piece of mail and receive an inspiring hand-lettered message from Portland, a child’s doodle from the Chicago, a sketch of the view from a window in Brooklyn—all of these incredible words and images made along the way of our Tour. Someone in Vancouver described it as a way to capture the happiness that in is the air at the Sketchbook Project shows and pay it forward. 

By the end of the day, the markers are strewn around the table amidst colored pencil shavings and a few remaining pieces of paper … and you know that everyone had a great time.

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