Rock solid project: Students are like their rocks – unique and important

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By Denise DuBois

A piece of property in Phenix City is a blank canvas that will soon be vibrant with art and activity. The space beside the Marriott hotel in Phenix City will soon be the site for an art park that will include an area for hammocks, pieces of art and flavors for your taste buds at the Food Truck Park.

There is one space that will be rather unique. A painted rock garden will house rocks painted by students at Phenix City Elementary School.



Beginning this week and continuing through August, students at PCES will be painting their own rocks for the “leave one, take one” rock garden. The school is partnering with Spark Art, a non-profit organization that hopes to ignite a passion for art in the community.

“This is a beautiful partnership because the Artpark is in the Phenix City Elementary district, which means a lot of the students live in the area and will be able to take pride in the fact they are a part of helping establish a piece in the Artpark,” said Rachael “Smiley” White, a founding team member of Spark Art.



Two of the PCES counselors are working with students to get their rocks painted.

“This project is so cool because it allows our kids to be super creative, of course they love that, and messy all at the same time,” said Dr. Christie Murrell. “These rocks get to go and decorate Phenix City. How awesome is that? Kids are limited sometimes in school with testing, testing, testing, but this is outside of the box. We don’t limit their creativity and imagination. It lets them say ‘I’m important, I’m unique, I’m special and look at my rock because it’s just as unique and special as me.”

She and Deshaun Howard will have four to five classes of about 20 students daily to help them create rocks to go in the garden. By the end of August, there will be 700 rocks for the community to enjoy.

The food truck portion of the Art Park will open tomorrow at noon. There will be trucks available throughout the day. Following the grand opening event, local area food trucks will be available at this location for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays indefinitely.