Ladies and gentlemen, fill in your coloring books

By LISA CAPOBIANCO
STAFF WRITER
Calling all adult coloring fans: dig out the colored pencils, crayons and coloring books for an upcoming event at the Bristol Historical Society that will bring you back to childhood.
On Sept. 11, the historical society will host an adult-only program called “Color Craze” from 7 to 9 p.m. Attendees must bring their own supplies, such as colored pencils, markers, crayons, paint and coloring books.
Ellie Wilson, programming director at the Bristol Historical Society said the idea to put on an event like this began after she heard about coloring parties sprouting in various places throughout the country. “The New Joy of Coloring,” a recent article by Hillari Dowdle in Parade Magazine, mentions the role of coloring in both socialization and group therapy.
Wilson said jumping on the new trend would be a great way to offer a fun evening to adults in the community.
“It’s something different to get people into the [Bristol Historical] Society,” said Wilson, adding if the event is successful, it could happen again. “We thought it would be a fun event.”
“Some events are structured around history, but others are structured around having a good time,” added Bob Adamczyk, active volunteer of the Bristol Historical Society.
Adamczyk said the adult coloring books feature intricate designs. From animals and butterflies to mandalas to fashion art, the coloring books feature a diverse set of themes. Hundreds of books are available at Barnes & Noble, Michael’s Arts and Crafts, Hobby Lobby and A.C. Moore with prices ranging from $6 to $17. “Secret Garden,” by Johanna Basford, takes coloring fans on a trip through an English garden. “Animal Kingdom,” by Millie Marotta, features elephants, birds, deer, and more. “Color Me Happy,” by Lucy Mucklow, contains a Zen mix of illustrations inspired by music, nature, art and architecture.
“The topics are fascinating,” said Wilson, adding how she enjoyed coloring growing up.
“It’s wherever your mind takes you,” said Adamczyk, adding how he also enjoyed coloring as a child. “You don’t have to follow any set rules.”
Besides bringing people together in a social setting, coloring serves as a form of meditation. Alice Domar, executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Boston, said in the Parade article that coloring engages both sides of the brain, tapping into the creative and tactical aspects. According to the article, the creativity involves imagining the color selection and how it will play throughout the piece, and the tactical involves applying decision-making to the artist’s designs in the coloring book.
“You’re using both sides of your brain, so it’s a complete absorption and mediation,” said Adamczyk. “It’s supposed to reduce stress and make you feel better.”
Wilson and Adamczyk said “Color Craze” will serve as a way to meet new friends, and people who have similar interests while reducing stress overall.
“It’s a form of fun therapy,” said Adamczyk.
“Color Craze” will take place Friday, Sept. 11, from 7-9 p.m. at the Bristol Historical Society. Admission is $5, and pre-registration is required. Wine and cheese will be served during the event. To register for the event, call the Bristol Historical Society at (860) 583-6309.
To read the full article from Parade, visit parade.com/409702/hdowdle/50-shades-of-happy-the-new-joy-of-coloring/.
Comments? Email lcapobianco@BristolObserver.com.