Crayola's pending decision to eliminate a crayon color for the first time in a century not sitting well with Christian Co. art teacher, some of her students

Kentucky New Era, Hopkinsville, March 31, 2017

Teachers, children questioning Crayola’s announcement

By Meredith Willse

The word “devastated” was used after a Christian County High School art class learned that on Friday, Crayola will remove a color from the 24-pack for the first time in 100 years.

Paula Gieseke announced to her class Tuesday afternoon that Crayola was giving one color the boot, which will be announced Friday for National Crayon Day in a ceremony in Times Square.

“I’m afraid it’s going to be cerulean,” she said, “which is my favorite.”

It transitions better than some other colors in the box, the art teacher added.

It also happens to be the name of the town she lives in.

“I’m just going to be devastated,” she said.

According to the Associated Press, the 24-pack contains the colors red, yellow, blue, brown, orange, green, violet, black, carnation pink, yellow orange, blue green, red violet, red orange, yellow green, blue violet, white, violet red, dandelion, cerulean, apricot, scarlet, green yellow, indigo and gray.

Gieseke explained she thought cerulean would go because most of the box is primary or secondary colors. It also couldn’t be apricot because that’s the flesh-toned color, she guessed.

It hits her more because she orders the classroom-pack version of that box for her classes. There’s also a few projects her students do based on those crayons, such as a wax resistance and a color wheel.

If it is cerulean, she’s going to have to change her projects to better fit the new box.

“Why are they crossing one out,” Gieseke asked.

She can’t switch to another crayon brand because that one works best, in her opinion. The other brands, such as RoseArt, don’t blend as well as Crayola’s, she said.

Seconds after she announced it to her class, 18-year-old student and artist Lexi Hedden said it better be green yellow that goes.

“It’s hideous,” she said. “It deserves to go.”

Hedden explained that it is way too neon of a color to be in that pack. On top of that, it’s too bright to use in most art.

“It’s not appealing,” she said.

Hedden is also nervous that her favorite, red violet, will be the one chosen. She explained that she does abstract art and that color blends well between the reds, purples and pinks when she’s working.

Then they turned their attention to another unloved crayon that they think should go — white. Gieseke said it doesn’t blend well with the other colors, doesn’t work in their wax resistance project and it can’t be used on white paper.

It should be switched out with a tan, Gieseke suggested, so there can be more flesh tones.

She wondered if the impending color deletion is to help fill a demand that adults with coloring books may want. Hedden agreed.

“You can’t just erase a color from someone’s mind,” Hedden continued, adding there’s no new colors to add.

The teen continued to say that America is going through so many changes right now, so why now?

“Why would they do this to us,” she asked.

Another student, Trevlin Six, 14, jumped in saying it’s probably a marketing scheme. He said if he were working for that company and realized sales were down, he would pull the crayon out for a few months, then hype up its return.

In the end, Hedden has her heart set on green yellow being removed. If it happens to be red violet, she said she and Crayola won’t be getting along.

Gieseke added that her classes will be watching the announcement, which will be live-streamed from 8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Small Heart Daycare was also shocked by the news. Melody Joseph, the owner of the daycare, told a class who gasped when they heard. They also use those crayons and ordered special packs, similar to Gieseke.

The students weren’t sure what to think. Mekhi Adams said he was OK with a color being retired and picked red to be put out in the cold. Sakiyah Watkins said she wanted them all to stay because she likes them.

Joseph said she didn’t want them to change, but if she did have to pick a color to go, she thought it should be white.

Otherwise, she would want it to be replaced with a brighter color for the children.

“The kids tend to use brighter colors,” she said.

Joseph added they will know when that color is gone, too — children know what colors they are asking for.

Print This Article
View text-based website