Since last November, we’ve had over 1,100 orders of our large coloring posters, with almost half of those coming from our Lenten Coloring Posters, which was the first time we switched to a smaller size of poster (from the 48″x36″ posters we had for Advent). As so many people have used the coloring posters and have created beautiful art with them, one of the questions we receive from time to time is, “What now? How do I display coloring posters?”
I’ve heard of a variety of uses for them. Some churches have lined a hallway with them, while others have placed them around their worship space. Some have placed them on windows and doors, while others have mounted them on foam boards and used them as pieces of liturgical art on the chancel. It’s been fun to see how people have creatively found ways to share the experience with everyone in their congregations.
Recently, I saw a photo that Kevin Eckert shared on the Illustrated Children’s Ministry Facebook page. It was a beautifully framed Lenten Coloring Poster (see above). Kevin is the Director of Children & Youth Ministries at St. John United Church of Christ in Freeport, Illinois (coincidentally, my mother grew up in Freeport, IL as well), and I asked him if he would be willing to share some about his experience with our coloring posters, and more specifically, how he decided to display them in his church.
I’ve been so pleased with the quality of our Illustrated Earth Coloring Posters, and I am looking forward to coloring one of them here at home, framing it and hanging it the same way that Kevin shares in this brief interview. Kevin shares some very practical ideas below, and I hope that if you’ve been wondering what to do with your finished posters, this might inspire you and give you some ideas for your own home or faith community.
Interview with Kevin Eckert: How to Display Coloring Posters
Illustrated Children’s Ministry (ICM): Tell us a little about how you used the coloring posters at your church.
Kevin: We transitioned to a kid’s worship format a few years ago and I’m constantly looking for new ways to keep the kids engaged with the stories we have to share with them each week. I started to color with the kids about a year ago and quite honestly struggled to find pictures that related to the scriptures we were exploring. I was introduced to your curriculum and posters as a new option. I loved the poster format and the kids love it as well. I read the scripture and expanded on the themes as the kids colored. We asked the kids questions that relate to the theme and encourage the kids to share what they have learned with their families. I then displayed the finished art work.
ICM: Who came up with the idea of displaying the finished posters?
Kevin: I was looking at hanging the posters in a way that celebrated the work that the kids did. I had tried a few things and then when it was time to repaint the hallway I knew I would display the kid’s art in that space. I call it our “Art Gallery of Faith.” I wanted it to look more modern and beautiful.
ICM: Can you share with us a bit of a step-by-step process for how you got the posters framed and hung? Were the lights already there on your hallway or did you buy those specifically for the posters as well? Can you share with us a list of supplies you used?
Kevin: I did a bit of research and ended up purchasing frames and wireless LED lighting from Amazon.com. We mounted the frames and the lights to cinderblock walls so we also used basic wall anchor hardware we had on hand. Below are some direct links to the supplies we used to create this gallery:
ICM: How have people at the church responded to seeing the displayed coloring posters?
Kevin: They love it. Each week we do a new poster and it gets added to the collection. Once we fill the gallery walls I will begin to retire the oldest poster with the most recent art. I have received a lot of positive feedback from adults as well as the kids. They really enjoying seeing the art work being displayed in such a special way.
I hope this is helpful as you think about how you may want to display those beautifully-colored posters you have in your office, but just aren’t quite sure what you’re supposed to do with them. I can’t wait to try this out and I hope you’ll consider this as a way to honor the gifts of all those who contribute to coloring your posters. And what a special way for the children of the church to see their work honored and valued and incorporated into the church.
I’m guessing that there are some other creative ideas out there – and we’d love to hear form you. How have you displayed your coloring posters? Please share any of your own creative ideas – as we’d love to feature them on our site as well.
I’d also like to put a plug in for the Illustrated Children’s Ministry Community Facebook Group. I haven’t been as active in it as I had initially planned, but I’m going to be working on that in the next few months. The Facebook Group is a great place to gather with other people who are using Illustrated Children’s Ministry materials and hear from them how they are planning on using them. Just recently, a few churches shared in the group that they have taken the scriptures from our Illustrated Earth curriculum and used them as their summer theme for worship and preaching. I’m looking forward to listening to some of the sermons that will shared as podcasts. If you are interested in joining the group (which does, I should add, sometimes get special promos and offer codes), you just need to go here and request to join.