By Megan Wehring
BUDA — Sometimes a rock is just a rock. But for Buda, rocks are art. They can be transformed into a three-dimensional red spider, abstract swirl of colors or even a taco that could be mistaken for the real thing.
Decorative rocks are scattered in the outdoor garden at Inspired Minds Art Center downtown, welcoming local artists and community members to enjoy the colorful mosaic.
“This conversation around what is public art,” said Linda Chido, co-chair of Buda Area Artists Collective (BAAC), “and how we can bring it to Buda is starting to happen. It just doesn’t have to be this grand sculpture in the middle of the park.”
The BAAC, which was started in 2020, works to serve visual artists in the Buda area while also encouraging the public to embrace their creative roots. Chido and co-chair Amanda Rainey have over 50 years of combined experience in the art industry.
From turning an ordinary rock to a mini masterpiece, the BAAC wanted to develop a public art project for all ages. A total of 24 artists are participating in the project; 13 are professional local artists in the BAAC and 11 are youth.
“We thought of the painted rock,” Chido said. “Everyone has one of those rocks somewhere that has a smiley face or have a nice day on it. We decided what if we take that really simple idea and elevate it to art.”
While the artists transformed their rock-canvas, the community is also invited to pick their favorite and join in on the fun.
“We are trying to remove the intimidation that art can have in the gallery setting,” Chido explained. “Put it outside in the garden, make it accessible and tangible. We asked the community to take selfies of themselves engaging with the rock and tag us on Instagram.”
The BAAC has received positive feedback from the Buda community and tourists, Chido added.
“The community is into it,” Chido said. “We’ve even had folks come from San Marcos to see the Art Rock garden and take their selfies. I think that’s pretty exciting!”
The Art Rocks Project, which started back in March, will conclude on June 13. An exhibit will then showcase the physical rocks along with images from the social media campaign. Location for the exhibit has yet to be determined.