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People spend time at the Art in the Park event at Hoopes Park in Auburn in September 2019.
Amanda Tallcot and Kevin Burke are the creators of “Let’s Color Auburn’s History,” a new local coloring book.
I edit The Citizen’s features section, Lake Life, and weekly entertainment guide, Go. I’ve also been writing for The Citizen and auburnpub.com since 2006, covering arts and culture, business, food and drink, and more.
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Hoopes Park is often colorful. But two of the times the Auburn treasure is most colorful will come together this weekend.
They are Art in the Park, taking place for the ninth year on Saturday, and “Let’s Color Auburn’s History,” a new coloring book that creators Kevin Burke and Amanda Tallcot will showcase at the event.
Burke and Tallcot will be among more than 85 artists at this year’s Art in the Park. The event will also feature music by Goodtime Charlie’s Mobile Entertainment, food trucks, children’s activities and the annual Jake Harding Memorial Plein Air Paint Out from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with awards at 2 p.m. (To participate in the Paint Out, email artintheparkauburn@gmail.com or register at the event.)
Hoopes Park is one of 20 designs in “Let’s Color Auburn’s History,” Burke said, so it felt natural for him and Tallcot, his fiancé, to have a table at the event for the first time. They’ve attended it for years.
“It’s pretty cool to see more and more local artists at the event and having their art for sale,” he told The Citizen. “We’re looking forward to checking out what’s new there this year.”
WHAT: Art in the Park
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17
WHERE: Hoopes Park, East Genesee Street, Auburn
COST: Free and open to the public; takes place rain or shine
INFO: Call (315) 406-0097 or email artintheparkauburn@gmail.com
Burke, an artist, and Tallcot, a teacher, have lived and worked in Auburn most of their lives. For awhile they had thought about creating a coloring book, she said. But it wasn’t until a year ago that they started theirs. Burke had been commissioned by Angela Daddabbo of Café 108 to design coloring pages featuring local suffragists there, giving him and Tallcot a foundation to build their book upon.
The book took eight months, Tallcot said, and was finished in August. Along with designing the 20 pages, she and Burke spent much of that time researching. “Let’s Color Auburn’s History” features many of the city’s most famous places and names, but the creative process taught them about some that even the two longtime Auburnians weren’t familiar with. Tallcot enjoyed learning about Martha Coffin Wright and her friendship with Harriet Tubman and the Seward family. For Burke it was Annie Edson Taylor, the local native who became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel, and Jerome “Brud” Holland, the first Black football player at Cornell University, ambassador to Sweden under President Richard Nixon and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient after his death in 1985.
“He was pretty a inspirational character. I went to East Middle School (now Auburn Junior High) so I knew about Holland Stadium,” Burke said, “but I never understood who it was for.”
The results of that research are included in the book, on pages next to the designs. The designs are cartoonish, Burke said, with thick lines that are easy for beginners to color. They also have bubbly letters that can be colored. Tallcot said the book is appropriate for all ages, from children developing their coordination to adults taking up what’s become a popular artistic hobby in recent years.
At Art in the Park, pages from the book will be available for children to color, including a 3-by-2-foot version of one. Burke and Tallcot will also have sidewalk chalk, and she will offer face painting.
“Let’s Color Auburn’s History” is $10 and available on Facebook marketplace at https://bit.ly/3y1FMvM, or by contacting the creators on Instagram @kevbur1313 or @accreditedart.
“It’s good for your well-being and a positive atmosphere,” Burke said. “Whatever gets people to put down their screens for a few minutes and color.”
People spend time at the Art in the Park event at Hoopes Park in Auburn in September 2019.
Tiffany Kline leads art activities with children at a tent for the Finger Lakes Classical Academy at the Art in the Park event at Hoopes Park in Auburn Saturday.
MaryBeth Sorber paints in Hoopes Park in Auburn Saturday.
People spend time at the Art in the Park event at Hoopes Park in Auburn Saturday.
Ellen Harper and Astella Murphy look at David “Dave” Witter’s wooden figures at the Art in the Park event at Hoopes Park in Auburn Saturday.
Items at the tent for Nicole Delaney’s business Delaney’s Aromatherapy at the Art in the Park event in Hoopes Park in Auburn Saturday,.
People spend time at the Art in the Park event at Hoopes Park in Auburn Saturday.
Kasha Fletcher, center, and Kim Bunce, closest to Fletcher, speak to people at the event for Fletcher’s Fletcher’s knitting and crocheting business and Bunce’s pottery business.
Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or david.wilcox@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.

Receive the latest in local entertainment news in your inbox weekly!
I edit The Citizen’s features section, Lake Life, and weekly entertainment guide, Go. I’ve also been writing for The Citizen and auburnpub.com since 2006, covering arts and culture, business, food and drink, and more.
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People spend time at the Art in the Park event at Hoopes Park in Auburn in September 2019.
Amanda Tallcot and Kevin Burke are the creators of “Let’s Color Auburn’s History,” a new local coloring book.
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