EastBay Today

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Posted March 30, 2020

Introducing: Color East Bay

CSUEB communications team celebrates campus community, National Crayon Day, with coloring book

What is black and white and red all over? Cal State East Bay’s new coloring sheets, out just in time for National Crayon Day, March 31. 

As many are adjusting to a new routine of working and studying from home, the normal bustling campuses have quieted.

So until students, faculty and staff once again fill classrooms, offices and courtyards, the university communications and marketing team has created several coloring pages of iconic Cal State East Bay buildings and points of interest from all three campuses. 

In addition to connecting our now remote campus community with the physical spaces we typically share, the hope is coloring will help ease the tension many have felt lately.

“Research has shown that creating art can actually enhance brain function and increase our brain’s level of serotonin, a chemical and neurotransmitter that is sometimes casually referred to as the happy hormone,” Suzy Wear, professor of art at CSUEB, said. “On the practical side, it can be a release and an absorbing, mindful activity. Coloring can provide relief from stress and anxiety.” 

Some research has even shown that merely looking at a beautiful painting can increase blood flow to parts of the brain by up to 10 percent. 

“Creating puts our brains in another space,” Wear said. “Creating gives us a sense of novelty and accomplishment and is cheaper than retail therapy. When we create, we access a part of ourselves that is revealing and mysterious at the same time.” 

And, art gives people a chance to build connections, something many people are craving as they adjust to fewer to no in-person work, classes or social events. 

“You may see something in someone else’s work that relates to how you are feeling, or a mutually loved color, or just a line that draws you in,” Wear said sharing she recently smiled seeing chalk drawings done by neighborhood children to cheer people up. “We connect in a different level of consciousness.”

Want to join in the fun? Download the pages here and share your finished work on social media with the hashtag #ColorEastBay.

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