BULLHEAD CITY — Bullhead City Rocks, an eclectic art-based organization founded by Jerry and Kathy McKinney about two and half years ago, hosted another of its rock-painting parties Saturday at Laughlin Ranch Bar and Grill.
Children and parents, young and old, all who participate in the pastime of painting rocks in artistic ways and then placing them all over the world to be found had a great time.
Starting at 11 a.m. painters began rolling in and kept arriving all the way to the 1 p.m. closeout to participate. The McKinneys were busy about the room overseeing the painters. They bring all the supplies with which to paint the rocks, the rocks themselves, and Bullhead City Rocks merchandise which is the mainstay of their pastime now turned calling. Bumper stickers and magnets are the engine that funds their passion for art, plus some donations fuel that calling.
Kathy McKinney said that in the limited time they have been at this, they have collected more than 11,600 members to their Facebook group, and Bullhead City Rocks have been found as far as Germany. The rocks can be found all over Bullhead City where the painters distribute them in unique places for unsuspecting people to find and marvel at. Many of them are so well done that they could be sold as art if so inclined, but the artistic challenge and passion behind their creation is the impetus that drives the whole thing, with the freedom of artistic expression being the attraction for many.
Children who participate are getting the most out of the concept as it takes them away from smartphones, television and other distractions to teach them art, human interaction, a sense of pride in accomplishment and artistic expression, as well as getting them out of the house for the time they are allowed to create.
The painters that showed up Saturday were all treated to a build-it-yourself taco bar provided by Laughlin Ranch Bar and Grill, which regularly hosts the rock-painting events.
After much painting and some great food, the McKinneys rolled out the gift auction for those with tickets. A table full of gifts were raffled and many winners went home with more than just painted rocks and fond memories. Paint-it-yourself gnomes were some of the gifts for the winners, and children won bags full of art suppliy prizes, caps, and other prizes. A three-tier rolling cart and a full 30-color set of acrylic paints also were among the prizes won by the paiters.