In the garden? Under the lunch table? On top of a sign? Hidden in a flower pot? Make sure you’re on a lookout for a colorful, creative rock created by your fellow peers who are enrolled in art class! All students in art class participated in a creative rock painting opportunity then took the time to hide them along the Upper and Lower Division campuses for students to find.
“I first saw the idea of hiding and painting rocks on Facebook, there is a group in Land o Lakes that takes the time to create beautiful pieces of art on rocks and hide them around our community.” Art teacher Ms. Gates described how intrigued she was at the idea of beautifying the Academy community while also brightening a student’s day. 7th and 8th-grade kids along with upper division all took about painting from three to even five different stones, depending on the detail; of their art design. “I couldn’t help but paint some of my own” stated Ms. Gates. “It’s fun and relaxing – painting rocks are such an easy way to express creativity, and that is what I love doing!”
Ms. Gates described how she had no limits for what students could design as long as it followed Academy guidelines and stuck with positive messages, especially for the younger students who would be searching for stones on the Wendlek campus. “I tried to keep my design choices lighthearted, and I used symbols and person who
found my rock would recognize” Senior Alaina Groskreutz describes. “I chose designs such as the moon or a cactus, just because those are things I really enjoy painting. I saw other students do quotes or cute saying from Pinterest as well.” Sophomore Kaileigh Schmitz tells us regarding her choices along with other students in her art class. The environment in the art class while the project was going on was relaxing and positive. Students said they played music and took pictures of their artwork during their session.
After the painting sessions came to an end, Ms. Gates took each class around both the Wendlek and McCormick campuses to find hiding places for their peers to come across throughout the next few weeks. “I chose where I hid my rocks depending on the colors in that area, I wanted the search for my rocks to be a bit of a challenge. So I hid my green rocks in pots of plants.” Sophomore Christin Harris says she was very proud of her effort she put into her AATL rocks, so she had thought out a plan so the students who found her rocks would have to go on a true hide and seek hunt.
“I was smiling the entire time I was hiding my rocks around campus.” Senior Alaina Groskreutz told 6c Publishing. “It made me happy knowing that something I did contributed to brightening someone’s day, and thinking that they’d want to keep my art around was a really cool feeling.”
“It’s really easy for students to participate in activities like these at home.” Ms. Gates told the blog how easy it was to bring this entire idea to life with a few simple items and some creative juices flowing! “One could easily go to Lowe’s and buy a 10-pound bag of rocks for only $9.00, some acrylic paint so it doesn’t wash off in the rain, or even permanent marker! Several of the students used Sharpie’s for more intricate designs.” The items are very accessible for all Academy at the Lakes students. Ms. Gates also described that if students are interested, they can have their parents go on facebook and follow local rock hiding groups. “Local groups hide painted rocks around the Land o Lakes Recreational Center, or even the Publix plaza. The back usually had a hashtag that will direct the finder to the facebook page for the artist that painted that rock.”
The overall experience was a truly unique experience for all students who either painted or found a rock on their very own Academy at the Lakes campus! If you are interested in painting rocks of your own, talk to some of Ms. Gates’ art students, or even Ms gates herself for more information on hide and seek rock painting.
Search #AATLrocks on your social media for pictures of completed artwork by Academy students!
Or, take a look at our Academy Smug Mug for up to date photos of student life.
Have you found any #AATLrocks? Let us know in the comments!