Don't be afraid to draw outside the lines. Image courtesy of Friends of the Dallas Public Library.

Dallas Artists Contribute to Adult Coloring Book

The Dallas Public Library will release the 40-page book next month.

Put down those crayons, kids, because the grown-ups are getting back into coloring books.

The rise of the adult coloring book may not exactly be breaking news. A quick Google search reveals a proliferation of articles on the subject not yet at the level of “Comics: Not Just For Kids” or “Vinyl Records Make A Comeback,” but getting there. The local paper of record got in on the action in July, commendably showing enough restraint to wait until paragraph No. 6 for a variation on “not just for kids.” Short version: It’s a therapeutic, creative act that keeps you away from the never-ending barrage of stress that is a computer screen.

That’s all prelude to the news that the Dallas Public Library is putting out an adult coloring book that features contributions from North Texas artists, according to a press release that just landed in the inbox. The 40-page book will be released Dec. 5 during a reception at the downtown library branch.

“It’s a fun new way to introduce people to local art,” Heather Lowe, manager of the J. Erik Jonnson Central Library Fine Arts Division, said in a statement. “Our hope is that people might discover artists through the book and then venture out to see more of their work.”

I agree with Lowe that it’s a fun idea, although I’m still unclear on the distinction between an adult coloring book and a kids coloring book that adults color in. Do adult coloring books feature conceptual sketches of mortgage payments? Invitations to color between the lines as you fill out the shades of the looming fear of your own mortality? Care Bears?

The full press release is copied below:

If you think coloring books are just for kids, the Dallas Public Library is about to change your mind.

As part of a growing national trend, the Dallas Public Library is celebrating the release of a new coloring book that features drawings by North Texas artists and invites people to fill them in with every shade of the rainbow.

“This is a chance to have a mini-collaboration with local artists,” said Heather Lowe, manager of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library Fine Arts Division. “The artists create the designs, but everyone can complete them by adding their own interpretations.”

The Fine Arts Division, along with the Friends of the Dallas Public Library, will host a reception to launch the new book – and start that collaboration – on Saturday, December 5, from 3 to 5 p.m., on the downtown library’s fourth floor.

The party will include free refreshments, music and a cash bar. Artists who contributed to the 40-page book – including Kelly Allen, Francisco Araujo, Moni Bell, Taylor Bryant, Brian Scott, Brent Combs, Ray-Mel Cornelius, Nicole Dane, Rachel Fischer, Timothy Harding, Elliott Johnson & M, Nicole Marxen-Myers, Matt Panuska, Trevor Shin, Brad Smith, Paige Vickers, Paul Winker and Zeke Williams – will be on hand.

Ms. Lowe said the project stemmed from the growing popularity of coloring books for adults, which are racking up huge sales and winning praise for enhancing creativity and relieving stress. By inviting local artists to contribute to a book, the library aims to highlight the Dallas arts scene.

“It’s a fun new way to introduce people to local art,” she said. “Our hope is that people might discover artists through the book and then venture out to see more of their work.”

The book is free to FODPL members and available to everyone else for a suggested $5 donation. After the launch party, it will be available through the Friends organization at www.fodpl.org.

The J. Erik Jonsson Central Library is located at 1515 Young St., across from Dallas City Hall. FODPL is a nonprofit organization that advocates for and enhances the activities of Dallas’ 29 public libraries. Annual memberships start at $25.

For more information, call the Friends at 214-670-1458 or log on to www.fodpl.org.

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