Walkers through downtown Newton may have noticed — or may not — new public art pieces on benches, in trees and windowsills July 3.
The works of art, small painted rocks, were put there by Halstead artist Amanda Cantrell, part of her kindness rock project.
"I am artist and I love the idea of painting," Cantrell said. "I like the challenge of painting small rocks. The fun is knowing that I made someone smile. I have to find a place that I can put it that is hidden but in plain sight. I love the idea that I know I made someone smile and made their day better."
On this trip to Newton she and a friend put out about 200 rocks. She said she had bags full and put them anywhere she could find a spot — from the Depot to the Library and Courthouse. This batch was mostly red, white and blue to celebrate Independence Day. Some have hot pink paint — and those glow in tthe dark.
If you find one, you can keep the rock, rehide the rock (called rerocking) or leave the rock where you find it. You can take a picture and post it on the Kansas Rocks group on Facebook so the artist can see where the rock went. Photos of some of the hidden rocks are also in the Kansas Rocks Facebook group.
According to the Kansas Rocks Facebook page, the goal of the project is "to get lots of people painting."
Cantrell's first time to "rock" a town came last year during the Old Settlers festival in Halstead. She has watched her rocks travel ever since.
"My mom found a painted rock where she is in Georgia," Cantrell said. "She told me it was pretty. I've always liked rocks and decided to paint some and put them out. ... On Facebook I have seen my rocks as far away as South Dakota and Oklahoma. I have also sent some to Georgia. They travel pretty well. ... I love seeing the pictures of who has found them, especially when it is a little kid grinning from ear to ear."