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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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St. Paul artist hopes to break Lite Brite record

A St. Paul artist will unveil what is hoped to be the largest ever picture made of Lite Brite pegs on Feb. 16.

Ta-coumba Aiken will reveal the mural to launch this year’s Minnesota Idea Open, a contest that rewards residents for designing a project to improve the state, according to its website.

Aiken’s mural will attempt to use more than 500,000 pegs from the children’s toy to light up the Union Depot.

The largest picture ever created with Lite Brite pegs, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, used fewer than 350,000. 

This year, the Idea Open collaborated with the St. Paul Foundation to launch the Forever St. Paul Challenge, targeted specifically to improve the city.

"We think this is a great opportunity to take advantage of everything that's happening in St. Paul," said Ann Mulholland, vice president for grants and programs at the St. Paul Foundation.

While past contests have awarded winners with $15,000 in grant money, this year's winning idea will receive $1 million to help with implementation, Mulholland said.

Past Idea Open competitions have been based on topics such as obesity and multicultural relation, she added. A donor wanted to improve St. Paul and made the $1 million prize available to incentivize the community.

"I think the amount is going to energize a broad community," Mulholland said. "For a million [dollars], you can do a lot."

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