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DC artist offers free coloring pages showing life during pandemic

Local artist Carlos Carmonamedina has offered a series of coloring pages for free as a way for children to express themselves and as an outlet for adults.

WASHINGTON — At first, the coloring pages may look like they come from a special D.C. book about the city's residents and neighborhoods.

One shows a mother sitting with her child, waving to a passing neighbor. Another shows a quiet D.C. metro station. 

However, for local artist Carlos Carmonamedina, the pages now being offered for free offer a glimpse into life in the nation's capital during the spread of coronavirus.

The same mother in the picture has a laptop nearby and works to get emails done as she and her child remain a safe distance away from someone walking past their home.

The metro station at Gallery Place-Chinatown is empty and devoid of travelers, due to people being told to stay inside.

"Art is always about documenting your immediate reality," Carmonamedina said on Monday. "I hope this would be a way for parents to explain to their kids why we’re here or what is happening.” 

Carmonamedina told WUSA he began making illustrations of spots around D.C. once a week starting in 2016.

After the coronavirus shut down schools and impacted nearly every area of life, the artist saw an opportunity for people to express themselves.

"Hopefully they’ll remember that they live in a nice, dynamic, changing, diverse city," explained Carmonamedina, who said many adults have reached out about the coloring pages for themselves as well. "Hopefully they can use art as a sort of therapy and as a sort of emotional way to express themselves.” 

With Carmonamedina continuing to offer new D.C. illustrations every week, he hoped the coloring pages being offered for free to the public could end up leading to more people checking out neighborhoods around the city.

"Hopefully, by the time things go back to normal, that will be a nice excuse for people to go visit these areas," he said.

People interested in ordering the coloring pages or checking out Carmonamedina's work can do so by visiting this page.

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