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The fourth-largest city in Oregon may soon hold a No. 1 Guinness Book-sanctioned world record.


On Saturday, July 18, Gresham will attempt to win the record for the largest display of chalk pavement art, otherwise known as chalk drawings.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CITY OF GRESHAM - Guy Edwards drew sample sample chalk squares around Gresham in anticipation of the Chalk of Fame event to break a Guiness world record.

The Chalk of Fame project is a collaboration between the city and community residents.

One local artist, Guy Edwards, will design all 350 individual 5-foot-square chalk drawings related to Gresham and its history. On Friday, July 17, a team of local artists led by Edwards will sketch outlines for all 350 squares. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CITY OF GRESHAM - Chalk advertisements around town give a sneak-peak at the Oregon strawberry drawing.

Families, groups and individuals can reserve squares to color on the city’s website, greshamoregon.gov.

“We will be turning Third Street into a coloring book,” said Jessica Harper, assistant to Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis.

Harper said she is optimistic about the upcoming project, the idea for which came from the Gresham Youth Advisory Committee. When the committee met with Bemis last year, the idea of breaking a world record was a major topic of conversation. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CITY OF GRESHAM - A squirrel, real or fake, posed next to a chalk squirrel square in Gresham.

When the group chose to break the chalk world record, it seemed to make natural sense to do so at the 14th annual Gresham Arts Festival.

The city wants people to sign up online to color in individual squares to make sure each is finished.

“We’re asking people to RSVP,” Harper explained. “Not meeting 350 is really not an option.”

Harper approached Guy Edwards, owner of Brainjar Media, roughly a month ago to execute the ambitious effort. Edwards, the only person designing all 350 squares, is almost done with the sketches.

Each of the 350 squares requires Edwards to draw different aspects of Gresham.

He is most excited for the “Bigfoot” square. Other squares will illustrate the Teddy Bear Parade, Gresham’s history as a campsite and everything in between.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CITY OF GRESHAM - Artist Guy Edwards left this teaser for the chalk of fame with the #GreshamChalkStar around town.

“When I get home from work, I just start drawing,” he said. “It’s been great trying to find all these elements that are Gresham-centric.”

Besides giving back to the community and learning more about the city, Edwards said he’s getting more in touch with his “artistic soul.” The businessman has loved drawing since he was 4 years old, but these days focuses on web design.

The Chalk of Fame provided an opportunity for him to do what he loves and experiment with a new medium, chalk.

To take the title from the current record-holder, the Uozu Young Entrepreneurs of Japan, the city will document every single square and provide witnesses and official times to Guinness World Records.

This is instead of paying to send an official to the event, so don’t expect to see any Guinness employees walking around in a blazer and a tie, but rather families, fun — and an astounding amount of chalk provided by the city.

That the project has dominated Edwards’ nights and weekends for the past month is of little concern to the businessman and artist.

“You don’t often get a chance to beat a world record,” he said.

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