From rock painting to real community

From rock painting to real community
(Photo : Roy Patterson)

By Gordon Lambie

Politicians and groups focused on community development frequently refer to wanting people to develop a “sense of belonging” when it comes to various public spaces. It is an idea that is often talked about, but not always clear in what exactly it means.
Sometimes, though, it can be as simple as painting rocks.
Anyone who has made the trip to the Square Queen public space in Lennoxville in 2021 has likely come across the rock painting station, which offers an array of rocks that can be decorated with free paint at any time of day.
“A lot of really good artwork happens at midnight, or two in the morning,” said Roy Patterson, who manages the rock painting activity.
Patterson first set up a rock painting station at the square last summer, but only on a few occasions while the public market was set up. In 2021 he came back with a station that was available at all times and said he has been really pleased with the result.
“What I came to terms with early is yes, there is going to be vandalism, but the trade-off is that the space really came to life,” he said, explaining that people would come, paint rocks, and then often leave them to help decorate the square and put a little bit of themselves into the public space.
Although very simple in nature, the activity has proven to have quite an impact on some members of the community.
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