For nearly two and a half years now, unassuming corners, nooks and crannies across Shawnee have become perfect little hidey-holes for locally-designed and created artwork.

For nearly two and a half years now, unassuming corners, nooks and crannies across Shawnee have become perfect little hidey-holes for locally-designed and created artwork.

Shawnee OK Rocks, a group of art enthusiasts with a desire to put smiles on strangers' faces, is thriving with more than 2,600 members.

According to the group's Facebook page, all are welcome to join in the fun.

“We are painting rocks to hide around Shawnee,” the site reads. “Just to do something positive in the community and brighten people's day.”

To help newcomers with the city-wide game, a couple stipulations are included.

“On the back of your artwork please write Shawnee OK Rocks with a Facebook symbol,” the site explains. “You can also write keep or re-hide me, keep or hide, you decide.

The group's goal is to get a lot of people painting.

“I had no idea that the group would grow to the size it is now,” instigator Caren Glenn said.

But she does believe there are a few reasons why the project has continued to be so successful.

“Families are doing something together and having fun while they do it,” she explained.

She also said she personally finds painting rocks very relaxing.

“I think others do too,” she said.

The project is also an easy way to show kindness, Glenn explained.

“It can bring a smile to someone’s face just by finding a painted rock,” she said.

“I’m so thankful for each member we have,” she said.

To keep up the momentum, she said she routinely comes up with challenges and themes for participants to create.

“I will normally make a post about upcoming holidays/celebrations so our members can have some ideas on subjects to paint,”she said. “We just had some members paint some rocks for Veteran’s Day and now some are working on Thanksgiving rocks.”

Glenn said she has learned a lot since the group has grown — about what works, what doesn’t work and how to help things run smoother.

Participants don't have to be art experts or savvy at crafting to start.

Glenn said she has posted some videos/posts from other groups that share with everyone.

“I have shared tips that I’ve learned along the way and some of our members have as well.”

She said the group has the most helpful members. “They are always eager to help other members,” she said.

Background

Shawnee resident Caren Glenn started community-sized game of hide-and-seek April 5, 2017, and it really took off.

“I originally saw a news story about a group in Texas,” Glenn said. “They were painting rocks and hiding them.”

It was such a simple thing to do, she said.

“I decided it was something that I could do here in Shawnee,” she said. “It'd be a fun, inexpensive activity for people of all ages to participate in.”

According to her post on her Facebook page, called Shawnee OK Rocks, she encourages locals to join in the activity.

Just in its first couple weeks, Facebook touted more than 500 members.

To play the game, participant Ed Bolt said the person who finds the rock has the option to keep it or hide it again and post a clue about its location.

“There are a lot of rocks being painted and hidden by people of all ages and artistic talent,” he said. “Lots of kids have gotten involved.”

He said the activity is not just confined to downtown.

Glenn said Rock painting parties are fun and relatively inexpensive.

“Have one with your kids, for a girls night, with a shut-in senior,” she said. “The more you do, the more addicted to this fun community project you will be.”

Glenn encourages residents to add friends to the group. The more the merrier, she said.

As with everything, participation comes with some ground rules, so be sure to look them over before joining.

Find the group on Facebook by searching Shawnee OK Rocks, and ask to join.