Sharing smiles, Viera Rocks followers find their happy place


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Viera Rocks co-founders Kaitlyn Elliot and Emma Smith hide rocks.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy of Cindy Johnson

Spreading smiles across Viera, a mini rock painting group has gained a modest following.

Viera Rocks, started last November by two 9-year-old girls, is the sister to Brevard Rocks. It has a few very simple messages: Spread kindness. Make people happy. Meet new friends.

“Rock painting has been a wonderful way for me to spend time with my grandchildren,” said Cindy Johnson, who moved to Viera last year. “I used to live in Lakeland and we started rock painting there. When I moved to Viera, my granddaughter wanted to start a rock painting group in this area.”

Johnson, who fell in love with Viera while visiting her daughter’s family, said granddaughter Kaitlyn Elliot and friend Emma Smith started the local rock movement together, although the Facebook site is maintained by grandma. Some Viera Rocks members are just starting to dabble with paint brushes, others are budding artists.

“I like to make people happy,” granddaughter Elliot said. “It’s fun when you find the rocks, and you get excited.”

The Viera rock-hiding movement is one of several in Brevard County. Brevard Rocks, founded by Jen Justiniano, is the largest group with 36,000 followers. Rock groups focus on positivity and spending time with family, enjoying the fresh air and spreading cheer as they hide and discover others’ painted rocks.

“You just have to buy some rocks and art supplies, and have fun painting and hiding,” Johnson said. “This is fun for all ages, young and old.”

No skill is required for the rock painters, and everyone can enjoy the calming effect of art. Viera Voice has joined in promoting the movement with a weekly contest. Two prize winners are chosen each week; rock photos can be posted at #VieraVoiceRocks.

“As a mom who does this on her downtime at night, I make rocks to support my son's habit of taking rocks he finds (he finds 3, I make 3, etc) and don't necessarily do it for any sort of rewards or recognition, but Viera Voice is a great local publication and … they are holding a contest where two winners are picked each week,” posted VieraVoiceRocks contest winner Connie Soga Norris.

As with other rock groups in Brevard, there is a theme with Viera Rocks of keeping cell phones and electronics at bay, spending time focusing on something bigger than yourself. Join a rock group and be part of a happy movement.