Interview – Patte McCarthy: Artful Giving

You first heard about Patte McCarthy HERE in my shameless teaser. Two things about that…

  1. Do you enjoy reading my teasers as much as I enjoy writing them? I love digging into the reasons I choose these people to interview! Sometimes, I even realize NEW ones! Like this time, it was about the rocks. Then it morphed into volunteering. Oh, and art. Blessed art! See what I mean?
  2. I normally wait a week or so after the teaser to put the interview up… you know, to make you really, really want it. This time, I just couldn’t wait!
  3. This interview is set up a little differently than the others. It was a lot of work and totally worth it! I hope you agree!

If you read my teaser, you read about the city of Port Colborne.  This is important because the city seems to bring out the best in people… or is it that the people bring out the best in the city? It doesn’t matter! They are inexorably tied.

Patte is an artist extraordinaire. And the best part? She shares her work!!

She photographs sunsets.IMG_4073

She paints landscapes and magical faces.IMG_4052

And she paints rocks. IMG_4048

Wait. What?

That’s right. Rocks.

Patte founded “Port Colborne Rocks” at the perfect time and in the perfect city. Someone tried it in my town after it took off in Port Colborne, for example, and while it was neat for a month or so, it just didn’t catch on. So, I can say with certainty that it takes a special place to embrace projects like this… and these are not Patte’s words… they’re mine!

And guess what? Port Colborne Rocks was founded in 2017 and it’s still going strong!IMG_4046

So, what is Port Colborne Rocks? Let’s have Patte explain:

I saw Megan Maloney Murphy on the Oprah Show back in 2016 talking about a project she started called “The Kindness Rocks Project.”  During that interview, she was encouraging people everywhere to join the movement and create a kindness movement within their own towns. About 6 months after seeing that interview, I had the opportunity to visit the Cape Cod area and was lucky enough to briefly meet Megan and actually see her kindness rock garden right there on the beach.  I was so inspired and decided at that point that I wanted to do the same thing here in Port Colborne.  Spreading kindness one little painted rock at a time.  Port Colborne is on the Global Map associated with Megan’s original project which is so cool. Port Colborne Rocks was officially founded on July 18th, 2017.

There is no need to be an artist to do this.  A simple kind word written on a rock or even a happy face drawn with a sharpie is an easy way to spread some kindness and joy to others.  Visit our Facebook Page. The FB page is also a way to help inform everyone of rock painting events like the Optimists Family Day on July 1st each year or the Annual Terry Fox Run in September. We also hold small rock painting sessions through the summer, usually at H H Knoll Park since it’s central to our town.   Everyone can do this whether you are 2 or 102. 

70964041_526428428186516_9218160871430160384_nFor her hard work and dedication, Patte received the 2019 Niagara Centre Citizen of the Year Award Niagara Centre for effort, commitment and achievement as an Ambassador of Kindness in the Community Service via the Arts. This is especially for founding Port Colborne Rocks/ a kindness rocks project in 2017. Here, she is shown receiving the award with MP Vance Badeway.

Patte’s Short Bio:  I first became interested in art and painting as a child.  My Mom was very crafty and encouraged me to try a little of everything.  I remember loving it and was also lucky enough to have a couple of grade school teachers who gently nudged me to develop my skills.  I went on to study art extensively which included college and used that knowledge to gain employment in both the building industry and the electronics industry because I could easily read blueprints and schematics.  I also owned and operated a successful art gallery and also co-created a couple of successful artist-run co-operatives.  

Port Colborne Rocks is a project that I am passionate about.  It’s my little contribution to a wonderful town which I’m so proud to be a part of.  I love creating art so doing something like this was easy for me and I hoped that others might be just as enthusiastic and decide to join in as well. 

What do you do to unwind and pamper yourself?

  • Going out at sunset time to take photos.  I love that time of day as I find it magical.  I do sell photo cards and small canvas giclees at craft shows.   Here is my fave sunset quote.  “Everything starts with a sunrise but it’s what we do before it sets that matters.”   K. McGraw ~ 
  • Lots of reading, especially in Winter.  It’s a way to do a bit of armchair travelling and definitely takes one’s mind off of anything that might be bothersome.
  • \Spending time with friends.  I get together with friends regularly whether it’s for a cup of tea/coffee or lunch/dinner or just to chat.  Friends are my chosen family so they are of the utmost importance to me.

So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about the AMAZING Patte McCarthy and her little “rock thing” that exploded into wonderfulness. I bet you’re wondering if you can do it in your city/ town? I’d say…


1 Comment

  1. We have a similar program in my city, but on a smaller scale. She is a very interesting lady. Can see why you were drawn to her.

    Liked by 1 person

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