Wayzata Central Middle School Art Project Could Set World Record
Julie Tuominen has a passion for art.
“I love sharing my passion with students and seeing them create things,” said Tuominen, an art teacher at Wayzata Central Middle School.
She’s taught at the school for the last 14 years. But Tuominen is also a collector of sorts.
In her classroom are stacks of boxes filled with thousands upon thousands of marker caps. At last count, she had amassed 50,000 caps, all collected over the last 20 years.
“Who else but a crazy art teacher would save marker caps for 20 years?” she laughed.
While some might call it crazy, there’s a purpose behind the two decades of marker cap stockpiling.
Abstract art using marker caps
“[The school] actually called COMPAS and they said, ‘Hey we’re gonna do a project that’s a little non-traditional, do you have anybody that can do a marker cap project?'” said Mica Lee Anders, a teaching artist from the nonprofit art organization, COMPAS.
Anders, who has experience working on mosaics, was brought in to help Tuominen fulfill a vision of creating a mural with each of these marker caps.
“They said, ‘Hey, are you up for a challenge? Something new?,'” Anders said. “And I said, ‘absolutely, I would love to do it.'”
For two weeks, Anders will work alongside Central Middle School students to help them make a piece of abstract art.
The objective is to sort the marker caps (by color, hue, size, etc.), and then glue them onto four large pieces of plywood to create a design that’s full of color, vibrancy, and a whole lot of creativity.
“It’s gonna be really cool and it’s really fun,” said Tatum Koch, a 6th-grade student.
Eventually, the mural will find a home on the wall near the school’s main entrance.
Meanwhile, the project, which was 20-years in the making, will be Tuominen’s way of leaving her mark on Central Middle School. She’s planning to retire at the end of the school year.
“It’s like my last hurrah and I can’t explain it,” she said.
It’s a last hurrah that could land Tuominen and her students in the Guinness Book of World Records. After all, an art project using 50,000 marker caps would be difficult to duplicate.
“Someone would have to save marker caps for over 20 years to beat my record,” Tuominen said with a laugh. “I am getting hard to beat.”
However, Tuominen said that getting a project into the Guinness Book of World Records comes with a price tag of $5,000. She said the school’s PTA will launch a fundraiser to help pay the fee.