On the Monday before Thanksgiving break, fourth-grader Henry Ottinger painted an image onto a rock that soon will be placed in the community garden at Johnson Elementary School.
Ottinger’s work is part of a project to highlight the uniqueness of each student within the school community and show that each individual belongs in the community of other painted rocks.
The idea for the project came in response to white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville over the summer that thrust the city unwillingly into the international spotlight.
Ottinger’s rock has a star in the center, surrounded by colors — a simple design he took great care in choosing.
“Well, it made me feel happy and I hope it will make other people feel happy, too,” he said.