Ethan Lauren
SMC Corsair/Daily Press

There’s a lot of junk left lying on the ground and aside from the occasional quarter, most of it is better left in the gutter than your pocket but keen eyed locals can find some diamonds among the rough thanks to a new interactive art project.

“Santa Monica Rocks”, launched in the beginning of October. It was created by Lynne Clark and Debra Bard, two artists from Ten Women Gallery on 1128 Montana Ave in Santa Monica.

Ten Women Gallery originally opened on Main St. in 1994 and later opened a separate branch in 1995, showcasing original handmade art from local female artists. The project aims to bring the community together through painting and hiding rocks around Santa Monica to be found and hid again.

The original idea came about over the summer during Clark’s family trip to Winnipeg in Canada.

“My husband’s a local Santa Monica teacher and we go up every summer with our two boys.

We started hearing about these rocks in Winnipeg,” said Clark. “My kids, being boys, it’s hard to get them to go on a hike with me, but when they found out they might find rocks along the way then the whole story changed.

They spent a good part of the summer not only searching and finding rocks, but also painting their own rocks.”

Clark and Bard found that this idea was not exclusive to Winnipeg, but was also being practiced
around the world and so they decided to start it up in Santa Monica.

All that is required of somebody who wants to join in is that they find a rock, decorate it, find a place to hide it and post a hint online through the Facebook page the two created.

The person can then find a rock, replace it with another and then hide their newly-found rock
somewhere else.

“I just love watching people get involved on Facebook and Instagram.

I love watching my kids and their friends go for hours painting rocks.

We launched it here at the gallery and so many of the rocks are artist-designed and so that’s kind of fun if you don’t have the budget to buy a piece of art; you can find a piece of art,” Bard said.

Jen Goldman, who teaches third grade at Roosevelt Elementary heard about the rock project while visiting the gallery and wants to get her students involved.

“I have artistic children in my classroom and I think that with other classrooms participating, they will be engaged and have fun and it’s a community activity which we are working on in our school, so it builds community,” said Goldman.

Clark and Bard are planning events in the coming months for people to paint rocks together and are continuing to use social media to reach a wider audience.

Visit them online at @santamoniarocks on Instagram or https://www.facebook.com/groups/santamonicarocks.
editor@smdp.com

This story was produced as part of a partnership between the SMC Corsair Student Newspaper and the Santa Monica Daily Press.

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