Students in the Upper School’s Continuing Studies in Drawing, Painting, and 2D Design course were recently looking for new ways to connect our community and help their peers reduce stress. They worked together to compile their own artwork and designs into a digital coloring book that can be downloaded and printed at home.
Liz Herlevsen, Upper School Art teacher noticed that a local group, The Bridge, was crowdsourcing a digital coloring book.
“I thought it was such a great idea to de-stress in the creation of a page, and then let that grow into a sharing a calming opportunity for others,” she said. “My hope was to get kids off of their screens and into a meditative and creative place, that would bring some peace. I hope our School community will try their hand at some stress-reducing coloring, knowing they are connecting with our art students by participating.”
Amanda McVey ‘21, one of the students who worked on the coloring book, explained how art has made a positive impact on her life.
“It is always important to come back to what you loved in your childhood and find ways to not take life so seriously,” McVey said. “Making art, no matter what it is, is such a release. When I stop holding myself to being perfect, and try out weird stuff, I always grow much more than holding myself to perfection. I hope other people will learn to love letting go too.”
For Channing Shilling ’22, art has always been a way of expressing emotions. This expression found its way into her coloring book art.
“During the coloring book activity, a lot of frustration about my current situation came to light, hence the ‘can it be over yet’ comment over the flower,” she said. “I think this is really telling about why art is necessary in times when everything feels changed. Still being able to go to art classes even when in distance learning has taught me a lot about art and how much I rely on it... I feel really lucky that although things feel very different, and as a community it feels like we've lost a lot, we haven't lost art, and for that I'm really thankful.”
Community members are invited to download the coloring book and post photos of themselves and their art on social media, tagging @st.annesbelfield. Photos may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.