The holidays have come and gone, but gift hunters may remember seeing coloring books for adults during their December shopping expeditions. The books took up shelf space in a variety of stores ranging from discount locations such as Five Below to chain booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, and they sold enough to claim nine of the 10 spots on The New York Times’ December 2015 games and activities bestsellers list. Five of the books on the list use the word “adult” in their descriptions, while the other four make an effort to point out they’re for “varying skill levels.” Time will decide the fad’s staying power, but a number of local organizations have recognized the traction it has picked up and will offer events involving the activity.
From 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, Osterhout Free Library will hold an adult coloring event at their 71 South Franklin Street location in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Pages to color will be provided, along with pencils to color them with, but participants are welcome to bring their own books and supplies. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Osterhout Free Library Information Services Coordinator Elaine Stefanko at (570) 823-0156, extension 230.
Coloring classes will be held from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. Jan. 29, Feb. 26, March 11, March 25 and April 18 at Dietrich Theater, located at 60 East Tigoa Street in Tunkhannock. Jennifer Kozlansky, a local artist who created her own line of adult coloring books (“Art Escapes Fine Art Coloring Book”), will instruct the class. Each event is $15. Participants are required to bring their own drawing tools and are strongly encouraged to bring a snack. Drinks will be provided. This event is open to those 12 and older. More information about Kozlansky’s work with adult coloring can be found at FineArtColoring.com.
“The Dietrich’s fine art coloring workshops are a great opportunity for participants to gather with friends or meet new ones, reduce stress and get their creative juices flowing,” Dietrich Theater Executive Director Erica Rogler said.
At 6 p.m. Feb. 8, Pittston Memorial Library will host a Valentine’s Day-themed evening of coloring for adults at its 47 Broad Street location. Those interested are invited to bring along a friend to share in the coloring and refreshments to share with the group.
The front covers of some adult coloring books tote them as stress relievers and, while former King’s College Psychology Department Chair Charles Brooks doesn’t denounce the claim, he doesn’t put coloring’s potential for relaxation above any other hobby.
“Anyone under a lot of stress should look for actions, activities to reduce it and stay away from medication unless the stress is absolutely debilitating,” Brooks said. “For some, exercise may be the appropriate action. For some, it may be crossword puzzles; for others coloring books. When it comes to stress and anxiety, one size will not fit all.”
According to The New York Times’ January 2016 games and activities bestsellers list, coloring books like “Stress Relieving Animal Designs” and the creatively-named “Adult Coloring Books” continue to fit enough of the population’s idea of stress management to account for every entry in the top 10. Adult coloring and its popularity is giving the adult colorists of Northeastern Pennsylvania an opportunity to turn their stress relief into a social experience.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts