Students at Lisa J. Mails Elementary School broke a Guinness World Record this morning.
Under a canopy of sunshine, over 1,000 students gathered in the school quad to participate in the largest art lesson in a single venue. Children sat side-by-side with a large piece of white paper and a box of crayons.
“The kids are so buzzed and giddy,” art chair for the PTA Clara Wallace said.
The idea was the brain child of PTA president Gina Ross who started planning the unique event last year.
“There was a lot of planning and research involved to put this together and make it successful,” Murrieta Unified School District PTA president Mary Kelley said.
Kelley added that the Guinness company headquarters are in England and that it was necessary to get approval to attempt the record-breaking event.
Art teacher Mary Esckridge stood on the stage and began the lesson as soon as an air horn sounded to begin the 30-minute timed lesson.
Esckridge, who was named teacher of the year last year, started the art lesson by displaying a large image of an abstract painting by Swiss-born painter Paul Klee.
“Abstract art is more about what the artist is thinking and not necessarily what they are seeing,” Esckridge explained to the attentive students.
She pointed at lines on the painting and asked if any of the students could see an image of a tree. Hands shot up in the air as students confirmed they could see a simple image of a tree in the center of the painting.
As the lesson continued, Esckridge instructed the students draw a circle with a red crayon, lines with a black crayon and triangles with a green crayon to create their own abstract drawing.
Many members of the community came to witness the record-breaking creative lesson.
“I think this is fantastic and profound,” Murrieta Unified School District Superintendant Stan Scheer said. “The focus of the school is art which makes the opportunity to end up in the record books very special.”
At the end of the timed lesson, all of the students held up their abstract drawings as the crowd cheered.
“My wife is a teacher here at the school and she thinks this is just awesome,” Temecula resident Don Harbour said. “This is an art school, so it makes perfect sense.”
The school has tentative plans to display the collection of the students drawings for everyone to enjoy.
“The kids, parents and faculty will love to see the drawings, so we want create a display,” Wallace said.
She explained they haven’t figured out how or where to display the works of art, but they are working on it.