The Current Iowa

About 200 people gather for a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 26 at The Current Iowa, a new hotel in the former Putnam Building in Davenport.

The Current Iowa is inviting the Quad-Cities to show its creative side and assist in a mural painting at the Davenport hotel's grand opening party this weekend.

The Current, the latest downtown redevelopment by Restoration St. Louis, will celebrate the opening of the new art-inspired hotel with festivities from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday. Part of Marriott's Autograph Collection, The Current is located in the former Putnam Building at 215 Main St.

In addition to entertainment, refreshments, beer tastings and other art activities, guests are invited to take part in the creation of a world-record-setting mural. Harry Lunt, senior vice president of the hotel management company Innkeeper Hospitality Services, said the hotel has partnered with St. Louis artists Nancy Spurlock and Andy Cross to create the huge mural.

The mural will be painted in the alley on the back of the Center Building — the building between the Current and the City Square office building. The collection of buildings are part of Restoration St. Louis' City Square redevelopment. 

The 9-foot by 156-foot artwork will be called "Stroll the Chol." Guests will be able to pick up a paint brush and help create the mural.

"We thought as an art-inspired hotel, what better way to (promote art than) invite people from the local community to be part of the mural," Lunt said.

The Chol is a mythical bird celebrated in ancient Jewish folklore that, in rising from its own ashes, serves as a hopeful symbol of restoration and new life. It also is known as a firebird or Phoenix. The Current hopes the painting can set a world record as the largest painting of a phoenix ever created.

Lunt admits the hotel has not yet done any research with Guinness World Records, but "we're fairly certain we'll be admitted in the book." He said they plan to reach out to Guinness once the project is completed.

"One of the reasons we decided to do a it's a symbol of restoration or new life," he said, adding, "That's what we've done here, put new life back into these buildings."

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