A community project rears its head in Cumberland Park.
By Steven Sandor | May 26, 2021
Some of the best things to do in Edmonton began organically. They didn’t come from planners in boardrooms, but by people who simply thought, “Wow, this would be a cool thing to do.” Think of Accidental Beach to the End of the World outlook, which later became Keillor Point.
And, the coolest art project of 2021 wasn’t hatched by a curator or some sort of arts committee. It began with a rock, near the water of Cumberland Lake in Edmonton. It is one of those planned subdivision lakes surrounded by backyards, which, on a spring afternoon is punctuated by the shrill whistles of red-winged blackbirds and the honking of ducks. Walk around the pond, and you’ll find the head of the snake. It’s a rock, painted green, with snake’s eyes. Another painted rock follows. And then another. In fact, there are hundreds of painted rocks.
Basically, the rock snake is a collection of painted rocks, all placed in a line along the shore. Community members paint the rocks as they wish and add them to the chain. In fact, you can paint a rock and add to the chain. It’s spontaneous art — for any park visitor to enjoy.
There’s a rock that commemorates the #BLM movement. There are rocks with messages of hope for health-care workers. There are cartoon characters and funny-faced animals. Someone even painted a rock red with a Starfleet insignia — and we all know what happens to the red-shirts on Star Trek. There’s a Day of the Dead rock, and rocks made to look like Easter pysanky.