The Denver Art Museum is submitting to the “Guinness Book” a 400-foot-plus “paint by number” painting of scenes in Colorado painted, according to the museum’s release, by “3,344 eager artists,” ranging from one year old to over 90 years. The painting activity was part of a weekend-long free event called “What in the World?” Once the attempt is certified, the museum will display the painting, but it hasn’t yet found a suitable location.
The Denver Art Museum, with its unusual new Daniel Liebeskind-designed addition, is part of a thriving art community in the Denver area, with many “art walks” and other activities. The museum has exhibits that range from the old masters to modern “abstract expressionists,” with a new exhibit of works donated to the city of Denver by estate of artist Clyfford Still, as well as works by native peoples from many areas, and many hands-on activities.
The Guinness attempt is likely to be one of the biggest hands-on activities the museum has held, with thousands of visitors donning old dress shirts and wielding paint brushes as they painted the lengths of paper laid on long tables in a tent outside the museum. Even those with artistic confidence were reminded that the smocks were necessary because of the many exuberant children busy creating the giant oeuvre.
Visitors contributed their talent until midnight on Saturday, and again on Sunday until 4pm. The assembly-line support staff not only handed out smocks, but ran a washing-up concession, had a security detail, and museum personnel escorted press and dignitaries. According to the museum’s release, the mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper, added his talents at the beginning, inaugurating the mammoth effort, and putting himself in the “sense” of the late Clyfford Still, whose exhibit was opening at the museum, deciding to paint “with a strong, smooth stroke.”
The museum noted that submission to the Guinness Book of World Records is highly technical, and involves measurement by precision instruments, certification by two independent upstanding members of the community, and submission of details of the event and press clippings.
The Denver Art Museum is a center of activities related to the arts in the Denver community, and invites children from Colorado to visit free through September 2. Residents are also invited to visit free, both adults and children, on the first Saturday of each month, thanks to the “Scientific and Cultural Facilities District,” which sponsors free days at a number of local museums and parks, as well as other cultural activities. Check the museum website for more information, and for updates on the Guinness effort’s progress.