By Abby Wargo
Elm Staff Writer
Adult coloring books can be found in almost any bookstore, but now select stores carry Chestertown’s own version.
During November’s First Friday, the new local coloring book “Local Color: The Chestertown Coloring Book” was released. The inspiration for the project is the current trend of adult coloring books, which promote relaxation and stress relief by retooling a childhood pastime for adults.
The book, made to support the Arts and Entertainment District, is printed on heavy stock paper and features 35 scenes by 17 artists with a caption for each drawing. Artist and graphic designer Barbara Slocum contributed seven drawings and designed the book. The introductory pages include an essay by local writer Jamie Kirkpatrick about the people who make Chestertown such a special place.
Kay McIntosh, the A&E District manager, was the coordinator for the project. “I put out a call through the local news media, Facebook, and Twitter for artists to pick a Chestertown-area scene or icon and create a detailed drawing of that. In addition I asked photographer Tamzin Smith, who had taken a series of portraits for a special issue of Washington College Magazine, if we could convert some of her photographs to line drawings using digital apps,” she said.
McIntosh said that they accepted most of the drawings, but had to turn a few down because “they would not have reproduced well and/or were not specific to the Chestertown area.”
A&E has a lot of ideas stockpiled for events, but needed to find a way to raise money.
“I see the Local Color coloring book as a way to both market the community and raise money for downtown improvement,” McIntosh said.
Several artists, some of whom are Washington College students donated multiple drawings. “WC is well represented in the pages, with a charming Gus the Goose drawing by senior Rachel Rahm and a collage of iconic images by alum Kevin Kelmartin,” said McIntosh. Several other contributors include Stuart Cawley, Connie Schroth and Marge Kelly.
“We are truly blessed with the number of artists who call Kent County home, and they have a history of stepping in and giving generously of their talents for local causes,” she said.
The book is $20, $15 of which is tax deductible. “Local Color” is being sold at Town Hall, Twigs ‘n’ Teacups, The Finishing Touch, She-She on High, Skippy’s Gifts, Music Life, Bordley History Center, and The Bookplate.