Healdsburg sculptor T Barny rocks his art

Internationally known sculptor and longtime Healdsburg resident T Barny brings his work down in size for International Sculpture Day this year.

The sculptor, with 38 years of professional experience with stone, loves the idea of getting others to “play with rocks.” He has loved stones for 60 years.

“Stones are tactile, universal and painting stone is fun,” said the sculptor, as he applied a base coat of paint to more of the stones sitting on his workbench. He said painting stones is ingrained in humanity and can be tracked back at least as far as 490 BCE. Cave paintings date back millennia.

T Barny is working in partnership with the International Sculpture Center, but has connections to numerous groups, such as Healdsburg Rocks, Santa Rosa Rocks and Petaluma Rocks Facebook groups, as well as the Kindness Rocks Project.

Painting rocks with colorful pictures or short word messages is a way of sharing without necessarily knowing whom you're sharing with. The idea is to look for painted rocks in both likely and unlikely places. Some people move a found stone to another place, while others collect them.

“It's an homage to the gods,” said T Barny.

T Barny is a member of the International Sculpture Center and his part in this year's fourth International Sculpture Day is to provide rocks and paints and share his joy of stone. The center promotes sculpture internationally in 200 places around the world.

T Barny is hoping to spread Kindness Rocks Projects around the county.

“It's a way of spreading joy,” he said.

Most of the rocks T Barny has selected come from his own creek and are usually small smooth stones. He has harvested 200 rocks for the project.

He said many people think painting rocks is weird or enchanting. But, he often finds, people enjoy painting and sharing them by hiding the stones in places where they're likely to be found.

He said the texture, shape and what the stone suggests to an individual, become part of the message.

T Barny has now created more than 1,000 works of stone art, ranging from tabletop to 12 feet tall, weighing up to 9 tons.

International Sculpture Day is Saturday, April 28.

The event with T Barny will be from 1-4 p.m. April 29, at 4370 Pine Flat Road. RSVP to

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