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Facebook group paints rocks, hides them around Farmington

‘It’s fun and I know it gives smiles’
The Farmington Rocks! Facebook group encourages people to paint and hide rocks, which can later be found by unsuspecting residents or people searching for them. This rock was painted by Elizabeth Gallegos.

FARMINGTON – A local Facebook group is spreading joy and art by encouraging people to play a large game of hide-and-seek with painted rocks.

For the last four years, the Farmington Rocks! New Mexico Facebook group has hosted a slew of posts with photos from both hiders and finders. Farmington and the surrounding areas are part of the territory of Farmington Rocks!, which is the local chapter of the Kindness Rocks Project.

According to the Facebook group, the goal of the Kindness Rocks Project is simple: “to promote random acts of kindness to unsuspecting recipients whether by painting and dropping inspirational rocks or some other cool creative way to bring kindness into the world.”

The page encourages people to post both found and pre-hidden rocks.

Elizabeth Gallegos, member of a Farmington rock-hiding group, painted this rock to depict a firefighter patch.
A tiny ladybug-painted rock is placed near a potted plant in Farmington.

Some rock painters and hiders go with themes during the different seasons. Ellie Braginsky, a member of the Farmington Rocks! New Mexico group, paints rocks in batches for holidays, including Halloween and Valentine’s Day. She said she paints and hides rocks all the time, and sometimes sees her creations being noted as found on the Facebook page. Braginsky said she’s hidden upward of 50 rocks, including some in Durango.

“It’s fun and I know it gives smiles,” Braginsky said. “I’ve even mailed rocks to my grandkids in Texas to hide.”

Braginsky said she finds it a “cheery” thing to do.

Another member of the group, Elizabeth Gallegos, found her first rock in 2018 and has been hooked on the movement since.

“I was already into painting, and I thought that this idea was so cute, painting something to bring joy to those who find it,” Gallegos said.

She started painting rocks right away, and her passion immediately caught the attention of her friends and colleagues. Gallegos said they loved her rocks so much that they offered to pay her for custom orders. Since, she has done intricate rock painting, including Zentangle designs, firefighter patches and football team logos.

“Painting brings me much joy, and I’m glad I can bring this joy to others,” Gallegos said. “Last year, I graduated from San Juan College, and gifted my classmates each a custom-painted rock.”

mmitchell@durangoherald.com

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