WAPAKONETA — Art comes in many shapes and sizes: acrylic painting, watercolor, sketches and sculpture to name a few. This summer, “art” will take the shape of small painted stones being hidden throughout Wapakoneta for others to find.
It started about two months ago, said Lisa Schott, co-owner of Thrifty Treasures on West Auglaize Street. It started small but has taken off in the last month, she explained.
Early spring, people began finding small stones decorated with painted designs, scenes or adorned with profound or silly phrases. Schott said her daughter found a stone which said, “When you fall, I’ll be there to catch you — with love, the floor.”
“Basically what you do is paint them and put a sealer on them so the paint doesn’t come off,” Schott explained. “It’s just cheap fun and it brings a smile to someone’s face.”
They’re simple to make and it’s something families can do together, making stones and hunting for them, she said. There’s a Facebook group, Wapakoneta stones, dedicate to sharing pictures of stones members find or stones they are making to hide, Schott said. The Facebook group lets painters enjoy knowing their stones were found and appreciated by other people in the group or, if the stone has not been found, if the painter needs to hide them in easier to find places, she explained.
It all started with Mandy Eastman, owner and belly dancing instructor of Troupe Zephyr in Wapakoneta. A friend of hers living in Florida showed her a photo of a painted stone they found and she said it seemed like a neat idea.
“I love art,” Eastman said. “So to me it was a way to express yourself without being famous or in a gallery. I like to make the world a little prettier each day.”
One of the retirement homes has asked people to hide rocks at the home so residents can spend time outside looking for them, she explained. Families post pictures of the parents and children painting stones together or hunting them together, Eastman said.
“I’m surprised it’s taken off,” Eastman said. “I’m excited to see the community art.”
Some local artists use the stones to create some exceptional artwork. Scott Bowersock, owner of Bowersock Signs-N-Lines in Wapakoneta, is one of the creators.
“When I’m waiting for my cutter to cut I’ll paint a few of them,” Bowersock said. “I’ve just been painting stuff for the last 30 years.”
His stones are like finding a rare Pokemon, Eastman said. There are not too many out there because people who find them collect them and don’t re-hide them, she explained.
“”When I first started the Facebook page I invited three of my friends I thought would like to participate,” Eastman said. “I got up the next day and there were almost 100 requests.”
The Wapakoneta Rocks Facebook group has, as of this morning, 400 members, she said.
“Rock on!” Eastman said.
Reach Bryan Reynolds 567-242-0362