Painted rocks placed on campus by a University of Richmond student are brightening the days of those who see them, students said.

The rocks, more commonly referred to as “Kindness Rocks,” have been spotted outside of Lakeview Hall, the Westhampton Center, the Gottwald Science Center and the Gateway Apartments.

The artist, who agreed to an interview with The Collegian under the condition of anonymity, said painting the rocks had been her mother’s idea. Her mother gave her the nicely shaped rocks as a Christmas present.

“She said, ‘Oh you know, go paint them, stick them around campus, I’m sure people would like them,’” the artist said.

The artist got ideas of what to paint from Pinterest, she said.

She placed a rock with the saying “no rain no flowers” outside the Westhampton Center, and Margaret Foster, senior, saw it on her way to class.

“It was fitting because it was a really rainy, sad, dreary Monday and I was like, you know it’s true, they don’t grow without the rain,” Foster said.

Sophomore Anthony Isenhour also saw a rock in the flower bed outside the science center.

“It was like a nice little thing to see on the way to class,” Isenhour said.

Foster recalled wanting to take the rock for a split second, but she decided to leave it because she thought it might make others happy as well.

But other students have taken the rocks, the artist said. Isenhour speculated that this is because a person's natural instinct is to take the rocks once they spot them. 

When the artist realized that the rocks were disappearing, she started an Instagram account, @ur_kindness_rocks, to post pictures of the rocks in order to make her efforts more permanent.

The artist said she viewed her project as a way to brighten up campus.

“It’s a nice way to pass time when I either don’t have anything or I’m procrastinating,” she said.

She puts the rocks out at night because she wishes to remain anonymous.

The artist said it felt good when she heard people on campus talking about the rocks.

“I don’t like being the center of attention,” she said. “If a stranger does something nice for you, then you remember that more.”

Contact news writer Victoria Davis at victoria.davis@richmond.edu.

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