LifeMadeSee & Do
1 dad, 6 kids and 1,000 painted rocks
Meet the characters from the awe inspiring family project ‘Rock Around’. The brainchild of US based children’s book author and illustrator, Aaron Zenz. The ambitious idea saw him and his troop of kids (6 of them between the ages of 6 and 18) collect 1,000 stones, pebbles or rocks, paint them in an assortment of vibrant colours and bring them to life by giving every single stone its own face!
The origin of the idea came six years ago, after watching Banksy’s documentary Exit Through the Giftshop, during which his ten year old daughter adamantly declared she was going to be a street artist!
Not wanting to squash this enthusiasm, nor encourage vandalism Aaron suggested instead that they collect some rocks, paint them with crazy faces and hide them around their home town. They started small, painting just 40 rocks. They then moved on to sticks and leaves, before returning to rocks and deciding to up the scale of the project to ‘epic’ proportions.
A year later they had amassed 1,000 rocks all painted in pairs, as twins, and hidden around Grand Rapids, Michigan. Aaron kept a record of the project through his blog, and has subsequently received hundreds-of-thousands of views worldwide and inspired others to do similar guerilla artworks.
500 of the colourful characters were gathered outside the Children’s Museum in a massive sprawling and kaleidoscopic display as part of ArtPrize. Whilst their twins were stealthily tucked into random locations around the city, delighting and surprising passersby.
All images provided with thanks by Aaron Zenz.