Artist and co-curator Rod Luff at the very first Moleskine Project opening. Opening night photos by longtime friend of the gallery and photographer Shaun Roberts.
With the seventh edition of the Moleskine Project exhibition in New York just behind us, the recent release of the second volume of The Moleskine Project book and our first international edition of the show at Moniker London in October, we wanted to take a look back at the inception of the show and its role in helping create Spoke Art.
Installation view of the Moleskine Project One
Back in 2010, our owner and founder Ken Hashimoto was writing for an art magazine by day, working at a restaurant at night and putting together pop-up group shows in between. After following Rod Luff's work online, then based in Australia, Ken invited him to show his sketchbook project (an ongoing blog series) as an exhibition. The work was shipped, framed and ready to show when the gallery that had been booked for the pop-up went out of business. With an entire show ready to go and no where to hang it, Ken scoured San Francisco looking for a new space to no avail.
The first of many openings at 816 Sutter Street, San Francisco
Until he found a small retail space for rent on Sutter Street. Without any other options, Ken signed a two year lease at 816 Sutter Street where Spoke Art San Francisco still resides to this day. The first Moleskine Project exhibition sold out, Ken quit his day job and here we are eight years, eight Moleskine Project exhibitions, two additional gallery locations and many shows later.
The Moleskine Project art books Volume One and Two
Over the years we've had the honor of showing some truly incredible work in the Moleskine Project exhibition. After five years of the annual show, a book of this phenomenal work was in order. And so Paragon Books was born to create The Moleskine Project Volume One and our first foray into book publishing. Volume Two is fresh off the presses and we are excited to be working on a series of new titles for the coming years.
In short, the Moleskine Project is very near and dear to our collective Spoke Art hearts. Thank you to all of the artists, collectors, fans and supporters over the years who have helped make this show and the gallery possible. We truly couldn't do it without you. Here's to another eight years and beyond!