Children’s book shares plywood paintings from Ferguson | St. Louis Public Radio

Children’s book shares plywood paintings from Ferguson

Apr 1, 2015

'Painting for Peace in Ferguson' by Carol Swartout Klein

How do you talk to young children about Ferguson and what happened?

“Painting for Peace in Ferguson” tries to explain it through the story of artists and residents who created paintings on the boarded-up doors and windows of local businesses. Many businesses in Ferguson and on South Grand in St. Louis were boarded up in response to and to prevent thefts, vandalism and fires after a grand jury’s declined to indict former Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

“Really it is telling the story of artists and community members that came together just days after the fire to do something to show that their community wants to come together and to make their community better,” author Carol Swartout Klein told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Wednesday. “The goal of the book is to begin conversations, and we’ve already seen that happen very effectively.”

The book includes 140 photos of artwork.

“We wanted to show that there was a range of people,” Klein said. “Certainly there were lots of children involved, and we feature a lot of the children in the book. But there also were professional artists.”

The book is included in Ferguson Public Library’s healing kits, and additional resources are available on the book’s website.

Profits from book sales will go back to north St. Louis County communities affected by vandalism, Klein said.

“St. Louis on the Air” discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.