Volume 14, Issue 32 ~ August 10 - August 16, 2006

Creating an Artistic Cacophony
with 2,501 Wind Chimes

Annmarie Garden seeks to bust world records

by Alex Murray

The record number of hot dogs eaten in 12 minutes: 53.75 by Takeru Kobayashi. The most consecutive jumps on a pogo stick; 177,737 by Gary Stewart. What could be the next number to join these two and countless others in the record books? Calvert County’s Annmarie Gardens’ Great Windchime Project, which aims for a number between those two.

“We have to break the record of 2,500 chimes,” said Jamie Jeffrey of Annmarie Garden, who dreamed up the project.

Since June 1, hundreds have helped her reach her dream, contributing 1,400 chimes, just over half of the target number. To break the record 1,101 more must be made before August 31, the final day of the project.

In summer 2005, Annmarie Garden hosted its first summer community art project: the painting activity Passages. This year’s record-breaking attempt adds a competitive twist to art.

“Last year attracted a lot of girls,” Jeffrey said. “But this year we wanted an activity boys would want to be a part of, and what guy doesn’t want to break a world record?”

I certainly do. A 16-year-old guy, I made the trip to Annmarie Garden back in June. After a walk past Hirshhorn sculptures, I made my way to the main office to see sample chimes on display.

Alongside chimes drying in the breeze, step-by-step directions show visitors how to make their own contribution. Without further ado, I picked up a donated jar lid and a paintbrush and went to work. Ten minutes later, my blue and yellow chime took its place alongside the dozen or so others.

“It’s a recycling project as well,” Jeffrey said. Donations of all sorts of metal jar lids are welcome throughout the project. The once-silver and gold lids wait in colorful piles to go on display after August 31.

“We will hold the record,” said Jeffrey jokingly. If visitors do not surpass 2,500 by August 31, area schools will help fill the gap.

The weekend of September 16 marks the opening of the Great Windchime in Loblolly Pines, Annmarie Garden’s pine forest of some 1,000 square feet. That’s when visitors will see what should be the largest windchime on record, strung by a network of ropes through the pines.

“The chimes make a tink tink sound,” Jeffrey said.

The wind whipping through the tall, slender trunks of the loblolly pines might mimic the sound of a continuing stream of coins hitting the bottom of the soda machine.

Windchime in Loblolly Pines will tinkle until the last day of November. Then the chimes will come down, and the garden will begin preparation for next summer’s free art project.

It’s not too late to add your art to the exhibit that will land Annmarie Garden in the Guiness Book for their chorus — or cacophony — of chimes: The last day to paint is August 31.

Alex Murray was a Bay Weekly summer intern and office assistant. His last story was “Side-Scan Sonar Aids in Maryland Recoveries” (Vol. xiv, No. 25: June 22).

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