Art Club makes history with record-breaking paper mâché sculpture

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Imagine combining 120 hours of work, 60 gallons of wheat paste and a massive amount of paper. What do you get? The world’s largest, free-standing, paper mâché sculpture.

IU South Bend’s Fine Arts Club was approached by Martin’s Supermarkets earlier this year with the idea of beating a world record by using some of their outdated comment cards.

Martin’s also offered to donate $25,000 of food to the Food Bank of Northern Indiana upon the completion of the project. This was a great way for Martin’s to do something a little more creative than just recycling their old materials. _MG_4399 copy

According to the club’s president, Kolton Sizer, the club was excited to take on the project.

“It’s not every day you get to use art to make that big of a difference in a single day for your community” said Sizer.  “It was a big effort from everyone. [In] June we met 20 hours a week, every week.”

In order to break the world record, the sculpture needed to be free-standing, meaning there could be no internal structure. Knowing this, Sizer and his team decided on an abstract tree design that’s hollow throughout.

“I do sculpture so my first thought was that we can really do this right,” said Sizer. “When you’re building something this big and it’s just made from paper it’s kind of hard because how does it support itself?”

The club decided that an abstract giving tree would be the best design for the challenge. This symbol is also reflected in the presentation of the sculpture. On the day of its unveiling, the Fine Arts Club held a canned food drive for the Titans Feeding Titans food pantry on campus. _MG_4358 copy

The sculpture only appeared on campus for one day. Since it was entirely made of paper, the chance of wind or rain knocking it down was very high so the club decided that one day would be good enough to leave an impression.

“It’s like a firework, it’s meant to be enjoyed for a minute and then it’s gone,” said Sizer.

Keep an eye out for the sculpture to be recognized by the Guinness World Records.

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