This semester I have the pleasure of teaching Introduction to Art Education at George Mason University. Now that we are straddling the halfway mark I can say it is my favorite part of the week! Unpacking and examining the many layers of what we do everyday in an art classroom is invigorating and undoubtedly these students raise questions that keep me on my toes.
It has also provided me the opportunity to revisit and reimagine the Sketchbook Project (SBP). The first SBP began in 2020 during the height of the pandemic as a way to build community among students while virtual. That year the students mailed (via snail mail) the sketchbook to each other on a weekly rotation and documented their spreads on their blogs. To learn about that SBP, click this link.This second iteration of the SBP has definitely taken on it's own personality, the weekly entries are grounded in the readings, observations and explorations of each week. The students are able to pass the book to each other during class time, no mail necessary. However, documenting the process on their blogs is still an expectation.
Then every week in class whichever student had the sketchbook that week presents their spread and how they captured their thoughts and documented them artfully. There is no media limitation for inside the SBP, and every spread must include a pop-up feature. The end of the semester will result in a completed Sketchbook Project showcasing a rich, visual chronology of what the student's were contemplating during the various weeks throughout the fall semester.