VERSAILLES — The Color Crush Adult Coloring Club meets every fourth Thursday in a small conference room at the Worch Memorial Public Library. They held their latest meeting just last week.
“We started with a single big coloring party, and we had such good attendance that we decided to do it every month,” Katie Bensman, Adult Programming Coordinator at Worch Library, said Thursday. “It’s a social thing: a chance to just hang out, relax. We provide all the art supplies, though most people end up bringing some of their own stuff as well.”
Two tables in the small room are covered with plastic containers full of markers and colored pencils, as well as an assortment of black-and-white pages bearing images available for coloring. Club members can choose which image they’d like to work on, at which point Bensman will print off either an 8 x 11 inch, or a poster-sized 11 x 17 inch, copy of the page on heavy cardstock.
Sisters Gloria Evans and Angela Vogel have been attending the monthly meetings for about a year, ever since their mother – who works at the library – let them know about the club.
“Most of us sit around at home coloring anyway, so we might as well do it here, where there’s someone to talk to,” Evans said.
Coloring is an activity that stretches into other areas of the club members’ lives beyond just their time spent at the library, according to Evans..
“A few of us like to go camping together,” Evans said, “and we’ll all sit around the camper and color together.”
“My kids make fun of me because I keep coloring books on my nightstand,” Vogel added.
Though refreshments at most meetings consist of cookies and bottled water, club members have also been known to share the occasional glass of wine together.
“We don’t come for the wine, though,” Evans said. “We come to color. To color, and to talk.”
Indeed, club members talk openly about a variety of topics while coloring, from the medications they’re on, to the details of one member’s recent surgery, to the names of various family members’ new babies. The members of this group are obviously comfortable and quite familiar with each other.
Like any leisurely activity, however, it can be hard to set aside time during the average day to color, according to Bensman.
“I enjoy coloring,” Bensman said. “But it’s not something I have a lot of time to do anymore. It’s relaxing to do it here, a much more relaxing atmosphere than at home, trying to color with my kids.”
Bensman started Color Crush because she felt there was something missing in many adult-oriented activities offered at local libraries.
“Doing these adult programs, I’ve found that adults like to do fun things, too,” Bensman said. “Many programs like this are focused on educational content, and that’s also important. But sometimes it’s nice to do something fun just to have fun. Coloring is something relaxing that you can sit and do mindlessly, and not have to think about anything, or worry about anything, or feel like you have to perform at a certain level.”
“It’s therapeutic, I guess,” Evans said. “I’ve colored since I was a kid. My kids have coloring books, and I usually color in them more than they do.”
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