Sketchbook Gallery Showing

Press Release

Posted: November 4, 2013


The sketchbook can be a repository for secretly drawn portraits, quick paintings, or notes illuminated by cartoons. It’s an illustrated journal or a place for working out creative problems.  It can be a record of the keeper’s nearby worlds and deepest thoughts.

Visitors will get a rare glimpse inside such worlds when Lorain County Community College presents “Radius: An Artist Sketchbook Project” at the Beth K. Stocker Art Gallery from Nov. 4 through Dec. 6, 2013 and during special events through December 21.

The artists’ reception will be from 4:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15.

The show features the sketchbooks of a dozen Northeast Ohio artists, including Lorain native Bob Cutlip. A collection of small books by illustrator Ron Hill offer, by turns, quick portraits and caricatures, imagined creatures and ideas for his editorial cartoons. Designer Karen Blados chronicles domestic life in carefully designed pages that blend drawings and text. Painter George Kocar’s work includes sketches he makes with his iPad.

In the early 2000s, the digital revolution began to do for sketchbook keeping what it was doing for other pursuits: creating community. People who love to draw, or keep illustrated journals, are a minority of the population. Now, through the Internet, they began to find each other and grow something like a movement.

However, the allure of sketchbook practice is anything but a flash in the pan.  For nearly as long as paper has existed, artists have kept books to carry with them so they can mark fleeting images, ideas and notes. Immediacy is often a hallmark of the sketchbook, though plenty of artists labor over elaborate paintings or collages – works that might otherwise be worthy of being framed and hung on a wall.  Keepers of illustrated journals combine words and images to mark and remember the details of far-flung travel as well as people, objects and events within the much smaller radius of daily life.

The purpose of the show is to highlight this special form of art that is both common yet rarely scene, said gallery coordinator Joan Perch.

The exhibition was curated by Karen Sandstrom, an illustrator and writer who has kept sketchbooks for years.

“There’s something magical about spontaneous artwork and notes when they’re captured in a bound book,” Sandstrom said. “Maybe not every drawing is great. But because the work tends to be so intimate, every page turn brings suspense and delight. There’s almost nothing I love more than being a voyeur inside someone else’s sketchbook world. ”

The exhibition also will include student LCCC art student sketches of campus settings, and sketchbooks created by first-year students at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Each of the CIA students’ sketchbooks is a response to the Sherman Alexie novel, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," which they were required to read over the summer and whick are traveling across northeast Ohio through May, 2014.

The Beth K. Stocker Gallery is located in the Stocker Arts Center on the main LCCC campus, 1005 North Abbe Road, Elyria. For more information and directions, visit


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