Group leaves no stone unturned to find a positive message

May 5, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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A Sunset Park woman is trying to be a rock for her community.

Sheila Hoban Pisciotta, creator of the Facebook page “Sunset Park Rock Painting,” was inspired by her neighbors to the south: the popular “Bay Ridge Rocks” page, on which people post pictures of stones they find in the area. 

The concept resembles a game of hide and seek. A person paints a rock and posts that they left it somewhere. The person who finds it then posts a photo of it.

The rocks include messages like, ”A life that touches others lasts forever.”

“Sometimes people find a rock and it makes them smile,” Pisciotta said.

Pisciotta’s sister told her about the Bay Ridge page a few years ago and she thought it would be a great idea for Sunset Park. 

“I went to a few of Bay Ridge Rocks’ rock painting events,” she said. “In today’s world of video games and social media, I thought this program would be a great way to meet neighbors in Sunset Park and to get people together outside and have some old-fashioned fun painting rocks.”

The group held events at Breeze Café, Irish Haven, Johnny’s Pizzeria, OLPH and the Sunset Park Fifth Avenue BID’s street fair, but the pandemic put an end to the gatherings.

“We hope with the increase in vaccinated people and decrease in cases, we can once again meet up and paint rocks for Sunset Park,” Pisciotta said.

The group created a tribute to COVID-19 victims at the Bethelship Norwegian United Methodist Church on Fourth Avenue and 55th Street.

“With the loss of so many neighbors, I decided to make it a memorial rock garden,” Pisciotta said. “I’ve met so many great people I now call friends due to this group, and I can’t wait to get back to being shoulder-to-shoulder with the group again.”

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