Berks native, famous artist now lives on through children's book

'Think big, work hard and give back'

READING, Pa. - It's a book overflowing with pictures, color and art to captivate young readers.

"What I remember most about him growing up is that he was always drawing," said Kay Haring, "and that became of the reasons that I wanted to write this book."

The children's book is called Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing.

It's Kay Haring's ode to her older brother -- the late, world-famous artist Keith Haring, a Berks County native who spontaneously began his career by drawing in New York City subways.

"He went out of the subway, bought a box of chalk and went down and started drawing," said Kay, "and he went back to the subway day after day, and soon people began to recognize his work, but they had no idea who it was."

Now, Keith's work can be seen all around the world.

"He felt strongly that art needed to be experienced and available to everyone," she said.

But Kay said she didn't want the book to just be about how famous her brother was. She wanted it to tell a story about how he gave back, especially to young people.

"When the Statue of Liberty was 100 years old, he painted the outline of the statue on this huge vinyl tarp and had 900 kids from the CityKids Foundation come to help him finish the drawing," said Kay.

Kay will be at the Reading Public Museum this weekend signing copies of her book. You can also catch some of her brother's work on display there.

"There are a few lessons for children in this book," she said. "Think big, work hard and give back, and those are all principals that Keith exemplified."

Kay will be signing copies of her book, which you can also buy at the Reading Public Museum, on Saturday, February 25, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Sunday, February 26 from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from these events will go to benefit the Berks County Community Foundation's Youth Advisory Committee.

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