People in Athens are finding rocks painted with everything from geometric designs to Transformers to words of wisdom. Roberta Ress, an artist with High Cotton Arts, started the painted rock project on March 18 with the Athens ROCKS kickoff event. Children and adults painted rocks and hid them in public places around Athens. During the paint session, Ress read a book called, “Everybody Needs A Rock.” Now, couples dining on The Square, Girl Scout troops, business owners and walkers are finding the painted rocks in planters downtown, around the Courthouse and at Big Spring Memorial Park. As people find a rock, they are encouraged to post a photo on the Athens ROCKS Facebook page of their find and then to re-hide it. Athens and Limestone County are embarking on their 200th birthday in 2018. The State of Alabama, which turns 200 in 2019, is hosting a three-year celebration, and Athens and Limestone County are participating. The 2017 statewide theme is “Explore Our Places.” Athens ROCKS is a way to encourage families to sightsee and explore their own community. “The Athens ROCKS project highlights that art is fun and art is educational,” said Athens Arts League Board President Amy Golden. “Tying the project into part of our local Bicentennial celebrations is a fabulous way to encourage citizens to learn more about their own city and enjoy creating their own piece of art.” High Cotton Arts is located in Downtown Athens at 103 West Washington Street. Athens Arts League operates the non-profit arts incubator to support artists, provide art education and bring cultural events to the community. By: Holly Hollman

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Athens Now Online 2019