HRAC rocks Hammond

Maureen Joyce, left, introduced the Hammond Regional Arts Center's new installment "Hammond Rocks" to the public by tabling at the Farmer's Market and allowing attendees to paint rocks to then place somewhere in Hammond. Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

Executive Director of the Hammond Regional Arts Center Maureen Joyce set up at the recent farmers market to introduce the HRAC’s newest installation “Hammond Rocks.”

“The point of ‘Hammond Rocks’ is to put creativity and good intentions out into the community,” said Joyce. “It’s a way to get a little art therapy during the day. We’re offering it totally free of charge because Alvon Brumfield, one of our board members, got a gracious donation from Home Depot. They donated the rocks, and we had painting supplies at the art center.”

Joyce was set up at the farmers market from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3.

“We’re setting up an area where you can come in on your lunch hour, come in after work, come in throughout the day,” said Joyce. “Our normal gallery hours are noon until 6 Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Come in and paint your rock.”

In the future, “Hammond Rocks” will be set up in the HRAC along with their new Art-o-mat machine.

“That’s gonna be a permanent station at the Hammond Regional Arts Center where kids, family, anyone, adults can come in at any time and paint a rock,” said Joyce.

For Valentine’s Day, “Hammond Rocks” will be set up at HRAC for couples to paint rocks to set up a romantic scavenger hunt.

“We’re trying to get people to think kind of creatively for Valentine’s Day,” said Joyce. “To come into the center and paint, and maybe create a scavenger hunt saying, ‘Where was our first kiss?’ ‘Where was our first date?’ ‘Our first meaningful conversation?’ Then take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, Facebook, and give them some clues about its destination.”

Joyce believes this can be a romantic and cheap way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

“Hopefully, get people going around the community and also a free way to have a romantic gesture,” said Joyce. “That’s not typically the motivation for painting rocks. It could be any motivation. That’s just something we’re designing right now for Valentine’s Day to get people into the Hammond Regional Arts Center.”

Joyce hopes the painted rocks can spread a positive influence throughout the community.

“The whole point is to place your rock somewhere in the community,” said Joyce. “So, when someone sees that rock, they’ll wonder where it came from, and on the bottom of it, it’ll say #hammondarts. They can also hashtag any other community program or good intention you want to put out there. You can paint things like ‘hope’ or joy’ or ‘peace.’ Just a little piece of beauty that someone can enjoy the whimsical nature of it.”