Wow - We did it. Venice is now the "Chalk of the town!"

The Chalk Festival in Venice created, with a talented team of pavement artists, local artists, students and volunteers, the Largest Anamorphic Pavement Art in the World at the Venice Airport Festival Fairgrounds in November 2014. Denise Kowal, the festival founder and chair, had the vision for the Guinness attempt in August and quickly assemble a team that came together by October 31st. She hired Kurt Wenner, the innovator of 3D pavement Art, to create the design incorporating the extinct Megalodon Shark to honor the 2014 festival theme 'Extinct and Endangered Species,' and to also honor the Island of Venice's history as the Shark's Tooth Capital of the World. She hired Julie Kirk, one of the first female pioneers of the art form, to lead the team of artists. When the title is secured for this painting, it will be the first time the USA has held the title.

You may wonder why the organization does not have the Guinness title yet. Well, since the costs to have a Guinness World Record judge on-site during the festival was cost prohibitive at $7,000, the organization chose to send the documentation to Guinness instead. This process is quite extensive that includes tons of raw footage and photos, testimonials, surveys and forms to be completed. Once the organization is notified that it did secure the Guinness World Record title, a community event will be hosted by the organization to celebrate. Please stay tuned as we become the 'Chalk of the Town!"

Visitors were invited to view the record masterpiece November 14-17 and were allowed to walk all the way around the 22,747.60 square feet painting. If you did walk all the way around it, you would have walked roughly 1/4 a mile!! This painting was 5,800 square feet larger than the current world record painting!

Anamorphic, or 3D pavement art, was invented by Kurt Wenner in 1984. By adapting the Renaissance techniques of perspectival anamorphosis, Wenner was able to transfer the illusion of soaring architecture and floating figures from the ceiling to the ground below. Using a new geometry with oblique angles he was able to create compositions that appear to rise from, or fall into, the ground.

Julie Kirk is a renowned artist and author of "Sidewalk Canvas: Chalk Pavement Art at Your Feet", the first book published about street painting as an art form.

Pavement Artist Gregor Wosik from Germany, who currently holds the record title along with Lydia Hitzfield from Germany participated. Previous pavement artist record holders participated such as Marion Ruthardt from Germany and Remko VanShaik from Netherlands. Other renown pavement artists included Phillipenzo from Russia, Roberto Rodriquez from Mexico, Sharyn Namnath from California USA, Matthew May from the Netherlands, JM Navello from France, Tomo Saito from Japan, Carlos Hernandez from Mexico, David Bracanto from Sarasota USA, Alex Maxsiov from Ukrain, Frederike Wouters from Germany, Iloni Fries from Clearwater USA, and many more helped create the world record painting.

The Sarasota Chalk Festival is known to host famous artists, from around the world, in pavement arts and has debuted the largest number of breakthroughs in the art form than any other event worldwide. Notably Edgar Mueller created the first day/night pavement art in 2010 'Save Me,' Kurt Wenner multi-tier anamorphic pavement 2012 'Circus Parade,' Michael Kirby Opera Set 2011 with the Sarasota Opera performed Madame Butterfly in full costume and Anthony Cappetto held the first Augmented Reality pavement art along with Leon Keer 'Lego Army' in 2011.

The circus painting below was completed in 2012 and took 20 artists 8 days to complete and is 1/10th the size of the painting being created to break the Guinness World Record!

The current world record for anamorphic art measuring 16,900 square feet was awarded in Germany in 2012. It broke the 2007 world record of 8,073 square feet held in the Netherlands. All the artists have performed at the Sarasota Chalk Festival in past seasons and may even lend their hand in securing this world record for the U.S.A. The painting created in Venice is 22,747 square feet.

"The record was a daunting and a pretty unbelievable task", says Kowal. "It took ten days and dozens of professional pavement artists, local artists and hundreds of volunteers to complete. Not to mention the tremendous amount of supplies that were used. With the help of major sponsors like the City of Venice for much needed support, Fairfield Inn & Suites of Venice who are the official Guinness World Book Lodging Sponsor, as well as sponsors such as Strayer Surveying and Mapping that gridded the entire area the first day for the artists we were very fortunate this community event was realized" explains Kowal. Other major sponsors of the Guinness World Record include Safway Scaffolding who created the viewing platform, Sharky's on the Pier that kept the artists nourished, Suncoast Air Center that helped with the airport grounds, Gorilla Kleen who is our pressure washing sponsor for the past four seasons, Publix that provided breakfast and Sherwin Williams and Pro Paint who provided much needed paint, color matching as well as paint supplies and brushes! We even had some support from Lowe's and Home Depot providing much needed supplies throughout the week. The Venice Fire Department came out and took the photographers high up on the ladders to get pictures and had fun with festival founder, Denise Kowal, for a video spoof!