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Rock on! . . . Forrester Gallery curator of education Elizabeth King with some of the painted rocks to be hidden around Oamaru as part of the gallery's winter drop-in holiday programme, being run with local group Oamaru Rocks. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

A rock show of sorts is coming to Oamaru next month – just don’t expect guitar riffs or drum solos.

As part of its winter drop-in holiday programme, the Forrester Gallery has collaborated with Oamaru Rocks to introduce people to rock art, a growing pastime in the Waitaki district.

Several rock groups have sprung up across the country, including Oamaru.

The movement involves people colourfully painting and decorating small rocks and hiding them for rock hunters to find.

When they find one, hunters take a photo of themselves with the rock, before they either keep it or hide it in a different place and start the process again.

On July 17-21 between 11am and 3pm, children can bring in their own rock and paint and decorate it with materials supplied by the gallery.

Forrester Gallery curator of education Elizabeth King said the process was not just about creativity but also engaging with the community.

“It’s pretty fun – it’s not just about art. It’s about kids getting out in the community and finding the rocks, doing the art, putting them back in the community and setting them free and seeing what happens to them.”

She said the gallery had hidden painted “prize rocks” around the Oamaru Harbour area, including the Friendly Bay playground and the Oamaru Public Gardens.

If found, they can be exchanged for free entry to the holiday programme at the gallery’s Wonderlab.

The Oamaru Rocks Facebook page, which has more than 400 members, said the aim was to “bring families and neighbours closer together by creating a safe and fun activity that people of all ages can participate in”.

It said rock painting “sparks our imagination and fosters creativity” and “gets us outdoors and interacting with our community”.

Meanwhile, another activity at the gallery at the same time involves decorating a necktie to leave it wearable or make it sculptural.

The ties are double-ups that have been donated by local grabatologist Irene Sparks, who is well on her way to breaking the record for the world’s largest collection of neckties.