Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Rockwall Rocks

Community bonds over new rock painting craze

(ROCKWALL, TX — July 13, 2017) For the past several months, hundreds of Rockwall citizens have found themselves swept up in a community-wide scavenger hunt. The treasure they seek? Simple painted rocks.

It was on a Spring Break trip to Oregon earlier this year that Jennifer Dotson stumbled across the first rocks that sparked her idea for the latest community phenomenon. Seeing the delight in her 5-year-old son Xzavier’s eyes when he had the opportunity to paint rocks and hide them for others to find was what ultimately inspired Dotson to bring this new fad back home with her to Rockwall.

In March 2017, Dotson created a Facebook group called Rockwall Rocks with a simple but powerful goal: encouraging community members to paint and hide rocks and spread joy to their neighbors.

“My goal for Rockwall Rocks is to bring the community together,” Dotson said. “We get the kids involved, the parents jump in, and the artists get to show off their skills. Hiding and finding rocks is also a great way to get people out and about in the community. We live in a beautiful town, and this helps get everyone out and connected with their environment.”

At first, Dotson said, it took a little while for the idea to catch on. But as more and more community members began contributing their artwork to the town and their photos to the Facebook page, the rock painting “movement” started to explode in popularity. At press time, Dotson’s Facebook group has over 600 members who regularly post updates on their rocks.

“I guess when they find their first rock, they get it,” Dotson. “It’s a good feeling, and having someone find yours is equally as fulfilling.”

Now, Dotson and her four kids enjoy quality time painting and hiding rocks together. Many of the Rockwall Rocks participants are parents partnering with their families in the pursuit of quality time and a little bit of creativity.

Claudia Hurley Wright and Jaime Way said their families have benefitted from bonding over rock painting and spreading joy.

“I use the painting rocks as a way to spread joy and spend quality time with my kids,” Wright said. “I think I have more fun hiding them and watching people pick them up. It’s great to see people smile.”

“My kids and I found out about rock painting a couple of weeks ago,” Way said. “I love the smiles I see on my kids’ faces when they are proud of their art work. Sometimes we get to see a picture posted of one of our painted rocks found. Each time the child holding the rock is smiling and that in turn brings a smile to my child’s face.”

Although the acrylic paint that works best on rock surfaces costs just $0.55 at Walmart (plus the cost of a can of Rust-Oleum clear coat to seal it), families who want to skip the art supply aisle can attend one of Dotson’s monthly free rock painting events hosted at Half Price Books in Rockwall. The next event is scheduled for this Sunday, July 16.

Half Price Books Manager Chris Thackaberry said when he heard about the growing popularity of rock painting, he was happy to host community members in the store and supply the materials for free.

“It seems to be taking off,” Thackaberry said. “It’s the perfect place for them to meet, and it’s great for our customers too. We do lots of events for the community and we never charge for things like that.”

While ROCKwall might seem like the perfect setting for such a novel and explosive craze, the rock painting movement is gaining traction nationwide as well. An organization called The Kindness Rock Project has been encouraging amateur artists young and old across the country to paint rocks with positive messages and hide them within communities. It was this overarching organization that inspired a second rock painting Facebook group called Hide and Seek Rockwall.

Kaarina Polttila Byrd, who created the Hide and Seek Rockwall group in June 2017, said she too came across painted rocks out of town with her family and wanted to bring the idea back to Rockwall.

“We liked the idea of spreading a little joy, being creative and exploring our town,” Byrd said. “The page gets so many sweet pictures and comments. It’s been a really fun and positive experience.”

Hide and Seek Rockwall also boasts over 600 members at press time, many of whom participate in the Rockwall Rocks group simultaneously.

For Dotson, the explosive growth of this hobby just means more smiles for the community.

“I feel this is a great way to get the community of Rockwall connected in a positive way,” Dotson said. “There is just something about finding a beautifully painted rock that just brightens someone’s day. Even though it is just a rock, it becomes strangely addicting to paint them and have others finding them all while spreading love and positivity.”

By Julie Anne White, Blue Ribbon News.

PHOTOS in our gallery below submitted by members of the Rockwall Rocks Facebook group. Click on the photos to see them full size.

Special thanks to Amy Hilliard, Anthony Wright, Claudia Hurley Wright, Candy Carroll, Cindy Kelley-Moyer and Avery, Erinn Slosar, Jaime Way, Janet Williams, Jennifer Crane and Savannah, Judy Liscano, Rebecca Sieg, Ricahrard Pierce, Macy Pierce, Tate Pierce, Kaarina Polttila Byrd, Rush Moody, Jennifer Dotson and Teresa Cash for their submissions.

Our monthly print edition is delivered free to 19,000+ homes in Rockwall and Heath, TX.

To share your good news and events, email .

Subscribe to our email newsletter here.

Advertising: 214-342-8000 or .