Local artist creates maze to break world record

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 23, 2020

 Local artist Michelle Boggess appears to have set the world record for longest drawn maze with her 1,126.36-square-foot creation.

Local artist Michelle Boggess appears to have set the world record for longest drawn maze with her 1,126.36-square-foot creation.

Photo provided by Michelle Boggess

 Boggess added numerous details including names, faces and hidden secrets to her maze.

Boggess added numerous details including names, faces and hidden secrets to her maze.

Photo provided by Michelle Boggess

 The maze is measured for the Guinness Book of World Records at the Recreation Authority for Roseville and Eastpointe Sept. 27. The maze created by artist Michelle Boggess comes in at just over 2 feet wide and 540 feet long and must be stored on a large roller.

The maze is measured for the Guinness Book of World Records at the Recreation Authority for Roseville and Eastpointe Sept. 27. The maze created by artist Michelle Boggess comes in at just over 2 feet wide and 540 feet long and must be stored on a large roller.

Photo provided by Michelle Boggess

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ROSEVILLE — A Roseville native returned to her old stomping grounds to achieve a world record for the largest drawn maze.

Michelle Boggess is an international artist who has owned her own studio, had work displayed by the New York Art Expo and illustrated several books. Her creation of mazes for a number of maze books has led her to this new and exciting achievement.

“I owned the On the Gogh Art Studio,” said Boggess. “After COVID, I was out of business and I was wondering how I could help. I started working with Detroit Living Arts, which provides art programs to kids in the city. They were underfunded after COVID, and I am an author and illustrator, so I thought I would try to get donations from sponsors as I made this project.”

Boggess created the maze at the Posterity Art Gallery in Grosse Pointe. Sherry McInerney, owner of the gallery, said she was impressed not only by Boggess’ talent, but also her eagerness to help others.

“People were able to sponsor her for the maze, and she made sure all the money went to the Living Arts program, which helps underfunded kids in Detroit,” McInerney said. “We were so happy to highlight an artist with such integrity and limitless talent.”

Boggess said she put her heart into the project, which took nearly three months to complete.

“I put in an application to the Guinness Book of World Records to beat the current world record of 1,072.1 square feet,” she explained. “The maze that I measured was 1,126.36 square feet. I was limited with the materials I could use. I could only use permanent marker, pencil and paper. There are about 250 names and doodles with hidden images hidden throughout the path. I included the names of people or businesses who helped sponsor the maze.”

The maze is unfurled from a giant roller. It had to be completed under strict guidelines in order to be considered for the record, including having to be created in a public space with designated witnesses.

“It’s 2.05 feet in width, and the total length is about 540 feet long. It went across the gymnasium five and a half times,” Boggess said. “Two witnesses had to watch the whole time and they had to be there for the whole 250-hour-long drawing process. The total prep time was probably another 60 hours. The maze path had to be no more than 1 centimeter in width. There are a lot of rules Guinness makes sure you adhere to.”

“She’s an outstanding artist and has such great energy. It was amazing seeing her complete this day by day and see it all come together,” added McInerney.

The maze was measured for the record at the Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe Sept. 27. Boggess is still waiting for official word from the Guinness Book of World Records that her maze is the new record-holder.

“We were just glad to help. She needed a place to measure it, so we offered her our large gym and she was able to break the record. It’s so interesting how it gets rolled up. It was very cool,” said RARE Director Tony Lipinski. “Anytime you have someone locally come back and remember where they came from is great. I think she appreciated that her hometown was willing to help out.”

Boggess said it was fun to get her hometown involved in the project.

“I grew up in Roseville and I reached out to Tony to see if I could measure the maze at their facility,” she said. “We measured the world record maze in the gymnasium there. I grew up at the rec center and played basketball there growing up, so I thought it would be cool to come back and do this here.”

The maze is so big, Boggess is having difficulty finding a location with the space to display it. She thinks projects like her maze are important, especially when times are challenging.

“I’ve reached out to a couple of museums to see if there is a place big enough to display it,” she said. “Art is important, and if you have a dream, just go for it. Do what you want to do, and do it. With COVID, a lot of art galleries and organizations are struggling, so go out and support them.”

More information about Boggess is available at www.boggessart.com.

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