Thursday, August 25, 2016

Painting For Peace: Bringing Hope To Ferguson & St. Louis

Painting For Peace: A Coloring Book For All Ages
Most people in America will remember the "Ferguson Unrest," a series of protests and riots that began following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Amidst the peaceful protests were violent riots and looting, in which many area businesses were lost. These businesses and buildings closed their doors, boarded up the broken windows, and left the area.
In February, 2015, hundreds of artists and volunteers banded together in a community effort to turn these boarded up windows and buildings into works of art with messages of hope, peace, and healing for the city of Ferguson and St. Louis. From these works of art, author Carol Swartout Klein created a children's book, as well as this coloring book for adults and children to color together.

Sample Pages

Until now, I've never found a coloring book that is as fun, meaningful, and helpful as Painting for Peace. The images and quotes in this book - as well as the back story - speak to you from a place of desperation and peace, and it truly feels GOOD to color the images to bring them to life.

I was approached by the Painting For Peace team to review this book, and was provided a copy of it along with some great information about the entire project. I can honestly say that in all the time I've been doing coloring book reviews, this has been the most meaningful project for me. I'm almost struggling to find words to describe my feelings about it, because it reaches so deep. This book truly touches the soul, regardless if you have any connection to the Ferguson, MO area. To see people come together and create beauty from destruction - and then to share it with the rest of the world - is simply wonderful.

My colored pages

The picture I chose to color first is the "Eye for an Eye..." piece, which represents two people of different color offering flowers and peace to one another. This image speaks volumes about the way the whole world should be, and I was drawn to it for this reason. Each picture in the book has a little bit about the artist and the meaning behind it; this piece was painted in the Tower Grove neighborhood in St. Louis by Liza Fishbone and Carly Jacobs. The two figures lean toward each other to represent the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. I purposely used multiple mediums to color the page, as my own representation of multiple kinds of people all living harmoniously together. I used colored pencils, markers, and gel pens.

It's also important to note that the quality of this book is far above what I expected. The paper is nice and thick, very smooth. The printing is flawless. While my markers did bleed through onto the back of the paper, it was only in areas that I went over several layers with. The paper is extremely high quality. The book is staple-bound, so you could, if you wanted, destruct the book to copy the pages onto your own card stock or paper for coloring.

I already have and will continue to be recommending this book to everyone I know. I will be purchasing and giving copies of it as gifts for birthdays and holidays for folks I know who color. It's not limited to adults - children will certainly enjoy the fun images in this book as well, and there's so much room for extra creativity, even artists can enjoy adding their own details and adornments to the pages. 

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to review this book, and am proud to be but a tiny part of this wonderful project. It is my hope that by sharing this review, more people will reach for this book and learn about this project. 

Click to visit the P4P website!

To learn more about the Painting for Peace project, visit
You can also connect on Facebook at

You can purchase the children's book and the coloring book on Amazon.

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