by Julia Halsey, 27East.com
While summering on the North Fork two years ago, Jake Rose came up with an idea that would both connect him with the community and combine his three passions of history, architecture and photography.
Putting these three distinct talents to use on one project resulted in “Color Our Town,” a series of coloring books that depict the most historical and picturesque sights across the country. “Color Greenport,” Mr. Rose’s first in the series, was inspired during an evening dinner in town when his father commented on the nearby flower shop, Clark’s Garden and Home.
“My dad said it looked like it came out of a coloring book,” Mr. Rose said. “That really pushed me into starting the project.”
A New York City native, Mr. Rose has also published books in the series centered around Manhattan’s Upper East and West sides, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn and New York City museums. In addition to Greenport, the historian and photographer has also covered locations out east including Sag Harbor, Riverhead, the North Fork and his latest release, the Hamptons.
“The main criteria is that they need to have an interesting history and they need to look really, really good,” said Mr. Rose, who recently graduated with a degree in history from Drew University.
Each book takes about six weeks to produce, with the average drawing taking about eight hours to recreate from the sites Mr. Rose photographs himself. With the help of freelance artists, the photos are translated into line drawings, which are then accompanied with detailed historical descriptions.
“Color the Hamptons” features 36 of the most representative spots from Westhampton Beach to Montauk, including Hildreth’s Department Store in Southampton Village, Candy Kitchen in Bridgehampton, the Pollock-Krasner House and Studio in East Hampton and the Surf Lodge in Montauk.
With an overwhelming amount of historic sights to choose from, Mr. Rose said he relies on input from locals to decide which places should be included.
“The question I always ask people is, ‘You have a friend coming to town for one day, what are the places you would want to show them?’” he explained.
“Color Our Town” also features a series of postcards, which can be found alongside the coloring books at locations throughout the Hamptons including Lynne’s Cards and Gifts in Westhampton Beach, Stevenson’s Toys in Southampton Village, the Bridgehampton Museum, Harbor Books in Sag Harbor, Guild Hall in East Hampton and the Montauk Point Lighthouse.
Mr. Rose says he won’t be stopping soon, and that plans for “Color Southampton,” “Color East Hampton,” and “Color Miami” are in the works. He will appear in Amagansett among the 100 authors invited to Author’s Night benefiting East Hampton Library on Saturday, August 11. For more information on “Color Our Town,” visit colorourtown.com.