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Malt-O-Meal donates to Van Gogh replica

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By Arie Kirk
Logan Herald Journal Staff Writer

For the last few years, Doyle Geddes has wanted to create the world’s largest reproduction of a master painting. Using two tons of breakfast cereal donated by Malt-O-Meal, that dream became reality Saturday with a re-creation of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” that covered an area 72 feet by 90 feet.

Geddes, who teaches humanities at Sky View High School, led more than 150 of his students through the process of creating a replica of “Starry Night” 30 times the size of Van Gogh’s original painting.

“To the best of our knowledge it is the largest re-creation of a Van Gogh work of art in any medium,” he said. The re-creation – made with blue, purple, red, green, yellow and brown cereals – was displayed in a gym at Sky View.

Preparations in Sky View’s gym began about a week ago, Geddes said. They first spread plastic sheeting on the gym floor and then made a grid that created 4-foot boxes across the area. Using that grid, he said, they drew the contours of “Starry Night.”

“It’s as close to the original as it can possibly be,” Geddes said.

Friday night, students caulked 1-inch strips of card stock to the plastic sheeting along the drawing of the painting. Areas were labeled by color and Saturday morning, they filled in the spaces with the appropriate color of cereal. Cereal was spread 1 inch thick.

Saturday morning, Geddes, who wore a Van Gogh tie for luck, said he was a little worried about running out of cereal, but they ended up having enough.

He estimated it would take almost five hours to fill the space with cereal. When they got working Saturday, however, it went faster than he anticipated. It took three and a half hours to fill the area with cereal.

Geddes said the Malt-O-Meal factory in Tremonton donated Tootie Fruities, Cocoa Dyno-Bites and Frosted Mini Spooners.

Geddes said they chose to re-create “Starry Night” because of its beauty and recognition. To accompany the display of “Starry Night,” there were also 28 smaller Van Gogh re-creations that students made with cereal.

There was a public viewing 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Afterward, the cereal was put back into totes and given to a pig farmer who will use it to feed pigs.

Geddes said he hopes that after students work on the “Starry Night” project, they have an appreciation for and a greater connection to art.

“When Van Gogh created this, you know, 100-plus years ago, it said something about him as a person, about the time that he lived, the culture that influenced him, and it’s also part of who we are,” he said.

For a video of a Wisconsin/Minnesota news broadcast featuring the cereal artwork, click here.

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