Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Big Chief Tablet Artist Black Book Project: Part One

So I've been meaning to start a black book project for the visiting artists at The Public Trust/Art Prostitute Gallery and The TractorBeam/TractorShow Gallery for quite some time now. And I didn't want it to be just an ordinary moleskin that i could find at any craft store. It needed to have more meaning than that.

After thinking about it for a while, I settled on using a Big Chief Tablet format. Typically, the artsts that show here at the gallery are of american descent and most are in their early-to-mid 30's. That being the said, pretty much all of them learned to write (and possibly draw) using a Big Chief Tablet (as it was the industry standard writing pad for early education druing their youth).

Step two was finding the pad. Through a quick google search I learned that after 80 years on the market, Big Chief Tablets were no longer being produced. After searching some more I was only able to find one place online that sold them, and the ones they sold were pretty shitty looking as far as cover graphics go.

I then began searching on eBay every few days to see if one might pop up with the more traditional (and appealing) cover graphics. After a couple of months this one finally popped up:

It is by far the best cover graphic of all the other tablets I was able to find during my research. And the eBay listing stated that it was "circa 1970's" which I thought was appropriate.

Anyhow, cut to two months ago. We had the "Urban Abstract" opening featuring the newest works by Evan Hecox. I presented Evan with the project and he was kind enough to kick it off with it's first entry, his interpretation of the cover graphic. And I have to say that I am beyond pleased with the results:

I'm looking forward to the next installment.

1 comment:

Derek Miller said...

The U.S. Toy company in Kansas City has Big Chief tablets... or did a few years ago when I was looking for something else. (I was totally amazed that I found a shelf full of them there... I think they were re-prints or cheap knock offs.)