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Transylvania professors aim for world beading record

LEXINGTON Ky.—With the ink barely dry on their Lexington Tattoo Project, Transylvania University professors Kremena Todorova and Kurt Gohde have drawn a bead on another feat—setting a Guinness world’s record.

The artistic duo hopes to gather more than 250 people in the William T. Young Campus Center gym on Wednesday, March 19, from 6 to 8 pm. for the world's largest beading party.

It’s part of their Community Engagement Through the Arts class project, Northern Lights, which will illuminate a nearby neighborhood with about 60 artistic lanterns.

The set of lanterns decorated by the potentially record beading crowd will hang either over or along North Limestone Street. It will be assembled from recycled burlap and bike tire rims and graced with almost 150,000 red, white and black beads arranged in an owl pattern made by Cricket Press specifically for the project and to reflect the neighborhood’s character.

This illuminated mural will be two feet tall and 43 feet long. “If we can get everyone to be there for an hour-and-a-half or two hours, we’ll probably finish the entire thing,” said Gohde, who teaches art.

To break the record, at least 251 people must simultaneously make a string a beads at least six inches long—and spend a minimum of three minutes doing it. Anyone from the Lexington area is invited to join the Transylvania community in the beading; no prior experience is necessary, and youths are welcome but should be accompanied by adults. “It should be a really fun community event,” said Todorova, who is the English program director.

A DJ will provide music at the event, which has a Facebook page.

As part of the larger project, students from Arlington Elementary, the STEAM Academy, Sayre School and Common Good have been busy with their own beading for lanterns that will be lit in Castlewood and Duncan parks along with the owl mural on the evening of Thursday, March 27. Also that night—and tied to the lighting—will be the closing reception at the Loudoun House for the Lexington Art League's Luminosity exhibition, which partially inspired Northern Lights. The event is from 6 to 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

3/13/2014

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