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How about a team effort for doing 11th beaver?

I read about the beavers in the Bemidji Pioneer and the reported dilemma with the 11th beaver. I have a suggested solution that I think considers the stated concerns of 1) do not detract from the work already done by the local artists and 2) don't select another artist who has not gone through the selection process.

Use the same or similar streamlined variation of the original process, select some number (5-10) of students at Bemidji State University to complete the 11th beaver as a team project. Provide one very complete set of art supplies and paints selected by the sculpture committee (whatever is selected or not selected can have a significant influence on the finished beaver). Using the selected supplies and paints allow each of the student artists a timed period to independently, one at a time, make a contribution to the beaver. The committee will need to determine the artist sequence, painting rules, project guidelines and objectives.

At a designated time and place each artist is to paint in complete isolation and silence, except for a totally mute non-expressive committee member monitor, whatever they are inspired to paint within the designated timed period. I suggest the timing be selected to allow for at least three or more complete cycles of each painter having a turn. There is to be no discussion or visual interaction among painters until the project is complete. No sharing of ideas or discussing "what did you have in mind?" or "what are you trying to do?" Each artist is to make their own interpretation of the work of previous artists and be guided and inspired by whatever they think will make a compatible contribution and produce an awesome result.

I recognize one of the challenges to solve is how to speed dry the paint between artists or as the artist is painting. Hopefully one of the committee members or one of the original artists might be able to solve that.

These are just some fun thoughts that might prove to be interesting and spectacular.

Merlin J. Ricklefs

Rochester, Minn.