FREE Coloring Book Pages: Sam Kirk

FREE Coloring Book Pages: Sam Kirk

Written by:
Lillie Therieau
Nov 23, 2020

Sam Kirk is a truly amazing artist and human. Beyond making incredible colorful mural art, and paintings suffuse with optimism, she is a community advocate and a Board Member at IPMM. Sam is the voice of the artist community on our Board of Directors, and is an integral part of our Permanent Collection. She’s a Southside Chicago native and portrays the city’s residents with an intimacy characteristic of her lifelong experience here. Her subjects are often folks from working class communities, who she gives space and joyful celebration in her paintings and murals. 

Sam Kirk’s style makes use of bold, intricate lines that interweave and swell in waves and spirals. They make up faces, curls of hair and piled-up buns, bunching fabric, and bouncing background patterning. Her colors are bright and vibrant, animating city scenes with energy and sunlight. She believes in the power of representation and presence for traditionally underrepresented groups, and her figures span the full gradient of blacks, browns, beiges, and tans.

As a queer Chicagoan, a Southside native, and a CPS graduate, Sam Kirk’s work exists at the intersection of art and activism, a position that is very important to IPMM. We believe in the power of art to transform and revitalize communities, evident in the very work of artists like Sam Kirk. 

Check out her new T-shirt design, which is part of our Fall 2020 Merch Drop

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Activism and Art Are Cut From The Same Cloth

Her latest mural, Tribute To Essential Workers, is a powerful homage to the folks who have been responsible for the city continuing to function throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Executed over the recent Labor Day weekend, the scene depicts four Chicago essential workers: Veronica Rodriguez, Carilla Hayden, Maggie Zylinska, and Jaun Burrell, who are flanked by scenes of essential workers laboring throughout the city. Each of the four workers are depicted in their work clothes, holding tools of their trades. They are heroic, standing monumentally, as protectors and stewards of Chicago. 

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One way that Sam Kirk practices activism through her artwork is by lifting up and celebrating communities that often go unseen in artwork. Although politicians and leaders often pay lip service to essential workers, they rarely ever confront the reality of their situations. Being an essential worker requires an enormous amount of sacrifice, as the threat of illness for family, friends, or the workers themselves looms ever-present on the horizon. Oftentimes, essential workers are forced to continue to work at dangerous or risky jobs, because they have to provide for their families. For most, being an essential worker is not a choice. 

Sam Kirk’s mural does not shy away from this reality, and, although the mural honors the strength and importance of every essential worker, it also imagines a world where people aren’t forced to work for unlivable wages while risking their lives without proper protection. Sam Kirk’s work is largely optimistic and hopeful, but it belies a familiarity with hardship and struggle at the core of everyday life for many Chicagoans. Through the course of her artwork, Sam Kirk imagines a better and more joyous world for all.

Free Coloring Book Pages – DOWNLOAD LINK BELOW!

Over the interminable period of quarantine that we’ve all been under, Sam Kirk has been extraordinarily busy! She never stops creating and engaging with the city to bring new art to new places. Last year, Sam Kirk teamed up with Xfinity to execute a new mural on the side of the Lincoln Park Community Services (LPCS) building, located in Old Town. The mural told the story of a journey many folks in the neighborhood have taken from homelessness to new beginnings and security in housing. LPCS provides services to individuals experiencing homelessness, helping them on their journey. 

During quarantine, LCPS teamed up with Sam Kirk once again to bring her mural design to the public in the form of a mini-coloring kit. Through the kit, LCPS hoped to bring awareness to the experience of homeless folks during the pandemic. Testing, medical care, PPE, and sanitary supplies are much harder to access as a person experiencing homelessness. In addition, aspects of living that were already difficult, such as finding a safe place to sleep, adequate amounts of healthy food, and mental health services or substance abuse counseling become almost impossible to locate. 

By printing these three coloring pages which are part of this kit, you can color Sam Kirk’s mural piece by piece. When you’re finished, you can tape them together vertically to create a smaller version of the full mural, which you can hang anywhere you please! Let the experience remind you to be kind and helpful to your neighbors, whether they are housed or unhoused.

Her website also includes three more intricate coloring pages, ready for you to get colorful! They depict scenes of the city’s Latinx and black communities, playing music, celebrating, protesting, and walking down the street. Her intricate line work makes for a seriously complex coloring page, fun for kids and adults alike. 

Get colorful with these free coloring pages, and stay tuned for more of Sam Kirk’s amazing and prolific work! 

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Written by:
Lillie Therieau
Nov 23, 2020

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