Bead Town, an interactive art exhibit lead by artist Stephan Wagner, has set a striking record for the Largest bead mosaic in the heart of New Orleans (USA).
Partnering with Gary Community School Corporation and the Legacy Foundation, Stephan and the local community have formed an image honoring the lifestyle and traditions of the city’s French Quarter, as well as the city’s 300th birthday.
The impressive work of art took three years to create with the help of more than 2,500 volunteers, including communities in Indiana, Illinois and Louisiana, and is now on display in the town’s Gary Area Career Center.
Stephan trained students at the career center to clip and fasten beads into giant mural panels, who would then go on to to work on the mosaic for months at a time.
With a total of over 5 million beads used to assemble the final piece, Bead Town beat the previous record holder with a surface area of 71.33 m² (767 ft² 113.7in²).
The grand mosaic depicts luminaries of the city, such as Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, and Tennessee Williams.
New Orleans is known for their annual Mardi Gras festivities - celebrated by party-goers sporting colorful beaded necklaces.
So to prevent the beads from going to landfills as they typically do each year, Bead Town aimed to recycle them as artwork to beautify the city.
Stephan previously held the record in 2014, after using recycled Mardi Gras beads to illustrate a street scene in downtown Natchitoches.
Upon learning he had beaten the previous record holder and taken back his former title, Stephan told press, "Every city needs to do this. It brings people together."
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