Missing campus rock art

Students sound the alarm over the abrupt end of a cheerful tradition.
Have you ever taken a stroll around The University of Tulsa’s campus after an intense study session or a difficult day and spotted a small, colorfully painted rock with a motivational phrase?

If you only recently joined TU, then it is unlikely that you have seen the painted rocks scattered around campus, usually with positive affirmations or cute drawings painted on them. One person, or possibly a small group, chose the rock beds on campus to be their artistic muse.

Cheyenne Martin, an avid painted rock collector on campus, reported that she has not spotted a single painted rock since the start of the spring semester. Martin enjoys collecting these rocks and sharing them with her friends when she knows they are in need of cheering up or a brand-new pet rock.

Martin reported, “I still look for them, but they haven’t shown back up. The most likely spots [to find them] were outside Fisher West, by the bell, and the rock beds on the way from LaFortune House.”

Another student on campus, Maksim Dezhnyuk, has over 12 rocks. Dezhnyuk’s favorite rock in his collection has Snoopy from Peanuts painted on it with a vibrant red background. “Looking at it always makes my day, the person who painted this has nice artistry,” Dezhnyuk stated.

Many questions surround the disappearance of the artist who painted these colorful and motivational rocks. Students wonder if this artist graduated or simply stopped painting. They took the time out of their busy college schedule to paint words of encouragement and art for students passing by. These little rocks found new homes in dorms, apartments and even in the backseats of cars. Despite the incognito status of the artist, their work has still become an act of kindness and uplifting to those who looked for it.

So, if our anonymous rock painting artist truly graduated, perhaps it is up to the students to continue what this person has started. As the semester goes on, the student body could use words of encouragement as they pursue their goals. It starts with you! Write a sweet message in your friend’s notes or give them a small doodle for them to put in their room. Or even paint on rocks and cleverly place them around campus for students to find. These little easter eggs will help liven up everyone’s walk to classes.

For those who feel like they do not have an artistic bone in their body, you can still give words of encouragement (that do not have to be painted on rocks). People tend to think artists only use canvas or paper to create their masterpieces. However, that is far from the truth. Artists love to break away from traditional art materials to create unconventional pieces. Our anonymous rock painting artist proved that you do not need fancy materials to make those around you smile.

Another student is already following in the rock painter’s footsteps by creating delightful origami around the Student Union. I imagine these paper masterpieces fascinate and comfort students and staff alike.

Post Author: Katie Williams