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’I wanted to share my art’: Nurse illustrates coloring book to document history

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 6:06 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - After experiencing tragedy, a local nurse is turning to art to help educate others.

Robin Lewis created two books called “The Movement,” which document historic events during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I wanted to share my art, along with some of the important things that happened,” said Robin Lewis. “It was unbelievable to have all of these things happen during the pandemic, and I think that was the message - we can change, we can do better, we can put our differences to the side.”

Lewis wants the books to reach young people in particular. The visual artist has turned to digital art in the last two years and illustrated the coloring book using her tablet. The coloring book also has a companion reading book. The pages capture the pandemic and scientific discoveries, as well as nationwide protests and calls for racial justice in the wake of the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

“It helped me a lot, just being able to paint again,” she said.

The last two years have been hard for Lewis, and she admits it was hard to get back into her art.

In 2019, her daughter Shanice Woodberry was hit and killed by a driver who plowed into a crowd in Shockoe Bottom and took off. Shanice’s killer was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison.

As she dealt with the stress and emotions of days in court, Lewis continued to draw, she published ‘The Movement’ coloring book soon after the sentencing.

“I think when you are going through something - and a lot of people are - just working in your passion, whatever it may be, has been a true blessing,” said Lewis. “I felt like if I could do this, somebody else could.”

Lewis says she knows Shanice would be proud. She hopes young people, in particular, will learn and be inspired from the pages of the books.

“She would be right here helping me do everything. I miss that, but I feel like I have her here with me sometimes. I know what she would say, she would be ecstatic about anything I do,” said Lewis. “I really want [young people], I guess, when they look at it as a whole to see where we can change, where there is change needed and where there is change happening.”

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