This week in the Queen Ann Ballroom of the Hotel Monteleone, local artist Stephan Wanger and the Hotel Monteleone revealed plans to break the Guinness World record for largest bead mosaic art piece ever created. Following the announcement, celebrity beaders including Councilmember Nadine Ramsey, Mark Romig, LeBron “LBJ” Joseph, LaTonya Norton and Randi Rousseau were among the first to add Mardi Gras beads to a massive bead art mosaic that, when complete, is projected to break the Guinness World Record for the largest bead art mosaic in summer 2015.

The massive art piece titled “Life in the French Quarter” is the latest project of local bead artist Stephan Wanger’s Bead Town initiative. The inspiration behind “Life in the French Quarter” is to translate everything that makes New Orleans great into art. Wanger’s vision of the piece features a background of iconic New Orleans scenery and a second line of famous local movers and shakers from the past and present including Lena and Louis Prima, Robin Barnes, Tennessee Williams and many more.

“It was a natural fit for Hotel Monteleone to partner with this project due to the hotel’s iconic significance in the heart of the French Quarter,” said Kent Wasmuth, Director of Marketing and Sales at Hotel Monteleone. “Hotel Monteleone’s status as ‘gateway to the French Quarter’ will forever live in Wanger’s ‘Life in the French Quarter.’”

The free standing 16-panel plywood canvas measures 96 feet wide by 8 feet tall and will be made entirely out of Mardi Gras Beads along with bottle caps and wine corks. Wanger started to prep the canvas by sketching out his vision for the piece in July 2014 and he projects it will take a year to add over four million Mardi Gras beads to complete the project by August 2015.

“This piece is a genuine reflection of what makes this city great. The prospect of it breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest bead mosaic is truly a testament to the innovative and unique things happening in New Orleans,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.

Since 2007, Wanger has been creating larger than life bead mosaic art pieces that embrace a photo-realistic style from recycled Mardi Gras beads and other recycled materials. In an effort to continue spreading a message about the sustainable use of resources through the display of beautiful Louisiana landmarks, he launched Bead Town in 2011. Once complete, “Life in the French Quarter” will be Bead Town’s largest piece to date, doubling both the length and amount of Mardi Gras beads on Wanger’s largest completed piece, which holds the current Guinness World Record for largest bead mosaic. Upon completion, “Life in the French Quarter” will be Wanger’s 4th Guinness World Record breaking artwork.

“My goal is simple, I am trying to get the beads off the streets, recycle them into amazing artworks, and leave a legacy doing something I love – while uniquely promoting New Orleans and all it has to offer,” said Stephan Wanger.

Over the next year, Wanger will be traveling with “Life in the French Quarter” to schools and community centers statewide to work with volunteers to place more than four million Mardi Gras beads on the artwork. Schools and community groups interested in setting up beading workshops are encouraged to contact for more information.

For more information on Stephan Wanger and Bead Town, please visit Galeria Alegria.