Gabe, 4, and Anna, 2, of Livonia Gabe, 4, and Anna, 2, of Livonia

Two friends thought the world was becoming too dark. Here’s what happened when they decided to add some color.

MICHIGAN — Rainbows are making their way across the state. Not in their usual post-precipitation fashion after a spring rain, but on Michigan homes, sidewalks and even mailboxes.

Lifelong friends Coryn Cess and Cynthia Hutar lived near one another in New York as kids until Cynthia’s family moved to Michigan.

“We’ve remained friends all these years,” Cess says. “A [rainbow] movement started in Spain and Italy, then came to my hometown.”

Cess stumbled upon a Facebook group encouraging quarantined New Yorkers to brighten their neighborhoods — and their homes — with rainbows. Colorful mosaics, portraits and words of encouragement began springing up all over the city.

The best friends decided to paint rainbows on their windows in solidarity with the movement. Then they decided Michigan needed it’s own Facebook group to keep the art projects and smiles flowing freely across the nation.

The Rainbows Over Michigan Facebook group was formed on March 21 with Cess and Hutar’s friends and family. People from across the state are sharing tips for the best washable paints, ways to get little — and not-so-little — ones involved, and for beating the quarantine blues. They now have 200 thousand members. 

Maria Elena Arzadon Wertz of Clinton Township says she joined the Facebook group to “share the goodness of life with others.”

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Melissa St. Pierre of Lapeer estimates that she has been home since March 13 but has kept her spirits up with her own rainbows. Though she is the first on her street to decorate, she and her toddler are not discouraged.

“I’m the only ‘weirdo’ on my street who has the house decorated…we sing songs out of the windows at night,” says the Oakland University professor. “Nobody cares.” 

That hasn’t stopped St. Pierre from sharing her rainbows and inspiring others. Posts of her artwork to Facebook receive rave reviews.

With all of the new members, Cess and ____ added moderators to help them keep up with the traffic. 

“They do so much work,” Cess says. “Dawn, Chelsea and Ashley, thank you so much!”

Rainbows Over Michigan is a public Facebook group.

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