2017-04-01 / Features

Pensacola ROCKS!

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you a rock, you paint it! That’s what a group of people in Pensacola are doing. For the artists, their rocks are blank canvases. Imagine an afternoon or evening sitting down with a handful of clean smooth rocks, a few jars of acrylic paint, some brushes and markers. Let your imagination flow.

Today, I might paint Minions and the next day, lady bugs. Maybe today is the day to paint emoji’s or just a simple word of encouragement, like faith, hope or love. I’m feeling patriotic so I might paint Duty, Honor, Country, Thank You, Go Navy. The possibilities are endless! The more artistic you are, the more creative you can get with your message or design. The bottom of each rock reads “Pensacola ROCKS” with the Facebook symbol.

So what do you do with all those painted rocks? You “hide” them in public places where people frequent. Subtly place a painted rock at the base of a fountain, on top of a post in a drive-through, at the entrance to a restaurant, in-between books at the library, at a children’s playground, at a picnic area, a boat ramp, a museum, a lighthouse, a lifeguard’s chair, etc. Go to the Pensacola

ROCKS Facebook Page and post something like

“The Beach Ball was just rocked!” You can wait around to watch for someone to discover it or just be happy in knowing you are leaving a piece of joy or encouragement behind.

Finders aren’t always keepers. When a painted rock is discovered, hopefully the finder will go to the Pensacola ROCKS FB page where it is suggested that the finder take a photograph of the rock and tell where it was found. The finder can keep the rock or re-hide it anywhere to be discovered again. It’s like geo-caching but without coordinates. It’s like hide-and-seek. It’s like “Paying It Forward.” Anybody can play.

Founder of Pensacola ROCKS is Susan Žampachová. Susan’s daughter lives on the West Coast where rock painting is very popular. It didn’t take much encouragement for Susan to start painting and spreading the word. She finds it very therapeutic. And then there’s co-founder, Cyndi Goforth, an empty nester who dabbles in trendy arts and crafts, including rock painting. She particularly likes hiding the rocks when she is out and about in town. Susan paints, Cyndi spreads the joy!

Pensacola ROCKS is looking for new members to share this new addiction. Start by going to the local Facebook Page and become a member. For inspiration, look around, be aware of events and opportunities, search Pinterest Boards, Google “painted rocks” and check out the other Painted Rock Facebook pages. Rock painting is a perfect activity for family gatherings, reunions, camp, scout meetings, Girls’ Nights Out. Get creative and share your experiences on Pensacola ROCKS.

For more information, contact Kelly Chism at (850) 206-3603 or Kellycooks@cox.net.

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