Two local artists come together to recreate a 1969 coloring book featuring 30 artists

by | Jul 29, 2015 | ART

In 1969, Chuck Scalin had an urge to do something creative.

In 1969, Chuck Scalin had an urge to do something creative. Scalin, then a professor at Richmond Professional Institute, now VCU, got together with friend and artist Jeri Helfgott and came up with the idea to put together a book featuring the work of all their artist friends.

The result: “A Coloring Book by Fifteen Artists who Somehow Came Together and Became Friends.”

The coloring book was put in VCU book stores and sold out.

Fast forward 45 years later, when the 2014 Artists Coloring Book, a second addition of the publication, is presented to Richmond’s art community. It includes double the amount of participants with work from 30 artists. Eleven of the 30 participating artists were originally featured in the 1969 edition.

Richard Kevorkian

Scalin sought out the help of artist Matt Lively to coordinate the project together and help recruit some artists. Lively suggested that they make efforts to get the help of local non-profit organization ART180.

Marlene Paul, co-founder and executive director at ART180 was made the official sponsor of the project. After a year of dedication and work, Scalin, Lively and Paul were able to launch the book to the public at an ART180 event.

Sid Schatzky

Some of the artists featured include: Mim Golub, Ron Jackson , Richard Kevorkian, Charles Magistro, Bernard Martin, Maruta Racenis, Chuck Scalin, Sidney Schatzky, Tom Silver, D. Jack Solomon, Ken Winebrenner, Katie Baines, Andras Bality, Sally Bowring, Thea Duskin, David Freed. Joan Gausted, Mary Holland, Kate Horne, Sterling Hundley, Matt Lively, Amie Oliver, Dale Quarterman, Diego Sanchez, Noah Scalin, Tanja Softic, Heide Trepanier, Tommy Van Auken, Lester Van Winkle, and Ed Trask.

All of these artists bring various forms of work to the book such as photography, painting, printmaking, collage work, tattoo work, mural painting and illustrating. The vintage-style cover was inspired by 1950s children’s coloring books and was created by Ross Trimmer.


Tanja Softic

The 1969 coloring book along with the 11×14 2014 coloring book with signed black and white artist prints was purchased by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ Freeman Library’s Rare Book Collection and the VCU Cabell Library Special Collections, which has one of the largest book-art collections containing up to 4,000 items.

It’s certainly not your average coloring book since several paintings have a lot of particular detail and shading or are just so abstract that you’re not really sure where to start or if you should even mess it up with your zero artistic capabilities. Then again, maybe that’ll be the beauty of it for each individual that gets their own copy.


Ed Trask

Considering this is a limited edition publication, you can grab one of the 500 printed copies of the coloring book at the VMFA, The Valentine Museum, Quirk Gallery, Fountain Bookstore, Chop Suey Books and bbgb books.

Since Lively has a show at the Glave Kocen Gallery in September, he came up with the idea of having one of his paintings from his show be a raffle prize for individuals that purchase a coloring book for $59 from ART180. All sales of the coloring book and artwork benefit the ART180 center.

Carola Rojas

Carola Rojas

Carola Rojas is a Bolivian citizen and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. She's an aspiring creative strategist and advocate for diversity inclusion. She can find inspiration wherever she goes and is fond of living life on the edge.




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