As the Coronavirus pandemic raged across the planet, some 30 artists in Europe, Canada and the United States have generously offered their black and white drawings for a 90-page coloring book whose sales will support thousands of artists struggling through the crisis.
The Coronaville Artist Coloring Book (Blurb, $15.97; 90 pages) was published with the goal of bringing artists together for the benefit of other artists through the non-profit activities of the community-based Brooklyn Rail, a giant in the US national arts community, a famous neighbor in the local New York art world and an important beacon in the world’s aesthetic culture.
Artists from Canada, France, Austria, the US, Serbia, Australia, Germany and South Korea contributed works that would be combined in a visual essay touching upon the pandemic and as artists would have it, a response to it.
“Artists are the last of the culture workers to have a stable income, and most do not have adequate health care,” said Caterina Verde, a French-American artist based in Queens, NY. “I’m happy to have contributed something to the health and well-being of the arts community here, locally and across the world.”
Dan Cameron, art critic and curator, penned an essay for the collection. In “Coloring Outside the Lines” Cameron touches upon all aspects of a global culture taken unaware by the contagion of COVID-19, and the effects of the pandemic – fear, poverty, isolation, economic deprivation and the valiant attempt to cope with uncertainty, and a fragile health care system.
Cameron’s take on the crisis is mitigated with hope, and the little coloring book, he says, is symbolic of that positivity: “…one of the essential joys of possessing an artist-made coloring book is that it’s important for its owner to feel 100% free to do whatever they want with it…”
Sales of the book through the online print on demand company Blurb generates $10 profit per book sold, all of which flows to The Brooklyn Rail. For each copy purchased, $10 is tax deductible for the buyer. The Brooklyn Rail is a 501(c)(3) corporation based in Brooklyn, New York. This year the publication celebrates its 20th anniversary.
The Coronaville Artist Coloring Book was conceived, curated and designed by Paris-based American artist Matthew Rose. American artist Ron English provided the drawing for the cover; Dan Cameron wrote the book’s essay; Phong Bui, the artistic director and publisher of The Brooklyn Rail, wrote the preface. All of the art works were provided free of charge. No one involved (outside of the publisher) was compensated for the book.
“I would hope that galleries, museums, art spaces and others who benefit from living artists will buy many copies of this book to distribute to their employees and their employee’s children. We’re looking at bulk purchases by large companies to energize the project. These companies receive a tax donation. We are hoping a range of enterprises will buy the books and distribute them or gift them to their employees, clients, friends. We welcome these companies in promoting the book on their web sites and social media using the cover and the link to the purchase page. It’s easy and it helps. We’ve just begun, so that’s the plan.”said Matthew Rose.
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