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Found by the Maverick on Riverdale. (Tiffani Jones)

A new global sensation has hit Utah: rock painting. Groups of rock painters are forming and growing fast. The majority of Utah groups have grown thanks to group pages on social media websites, like Facebook and Instagram.

801 Rocks! is one of these pages. The page’s creator, Lisa R. Devonesque, said, “My cousin from Memphis, Tennessee belongs to 901 rocks! I visited their page and fell in love the idea of giving art … a random act of kindness thing. Plus, I love to make art. This seemed a great way for me to fulfill that obsession.”

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Found near the Petco in Ogden. (Kellie Creager)

“I started 801 Rocks! in November of 2016. We were early adopters of the movement, which took off like wildfire and thousands joined quickly. It is definitely in all 50 states by now, and it is going international.”

To participate with others, the game is similar to hide-and-seek. Participants find a rock, paint it, hide it, and then post a picture and clue of its location on the social media page. If someone finds a rock, they are encouraged to post a picture of the rock on a social media page and then either keep the rock or hide it again.

“It is very story-full and uplifting for everyone,” said Devonesque, “And anybody can participate of virtually any age.”

“I’m not really with any particular group,” said Ogden resident Derrick Vonne, “I just love it for the art and the thrill of finding new rocks. I got into it because of my friend, and I fell in love with the idea. I love painting and this is a great outlet source. Plus, rocks are a new and interesting canvas to work with. It’s very exciting.”

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Found at Valley Market, in Eden (Ana McMurry)

Not only is the rock-painting trend a source of inspiration for artists of all abilities, but it’s also a way to spread a little love.

“I didn’t know what it was when I first picked it up, but it did make me smile and brighten my day,” said 801 Rocks! member Bonnie Jensen as she recounted finding her first painted rock.

“I left it there thinking maybe a child dropped it and may come back looking for it. It wasn’t until Lisa mentioned 801 Rocks! that it clicked in my brain.”

It’s a way for families and individuals to get out into the community without electronic devices, have fun and express their artistic selves. It’s cheap, it’s artistic and it’s engaging.

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Found by the Ogden sign near Historic 25th. (Fawn Luhmann)

“I love feeling like a treasure hunter,” said Carter Jordan, a 11-year-old participant. “I like doing the painting with my family. It’s something we all do together.”

Devonesque hopes that community members can find the beauty “that is the core” of the rock-painting movement.

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