When Sky Arts invited art-K to help them set a new world record, we couldn’t say no!

On the 28th October 2023, Sky Arts celebrated the 10th anniversary of the national art competition  Portrait Artist of the Year  with a live portrait-painting event.
Artists of all abilities (200 in person and 1150 online – including 50 art-K students!) had one hour to paint a portrait of Sir Lenny Henry on an A3 canvas using acrylic paints.
With our help, a new Guinness World Records title was set for the most people painting online and in a single venue simultaneously.

Sir Lenny Henry with some of the portraits painted by the 250 people who attended the in-person ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ event at Lindley Hall, in London on 28th October 2023.

“The record attempt was amazing and surpassed all my expectations. It was inspiring to see so many artists of all abilities and ages come together. Seeing 200 portraits of me in person was quite a moment – they were so varied – and I loved chatting to the artists about their work. What a great way to celebrate Portrait Artist of the Year’s tenth anniversary.”

Sir Lenny Henry CBE
Actor, Comedian, Singer, Television Presenter and Writer

Following the success of the event, art-K have been recognised in the media for our contribution; we provided the largest number of online participants! And it’s not just the press who are talking about us; take a look at this article from Creative Moment. We’re delighted to be a talking point on a site where creativity, in all its forms, is reviewed by the best industry creatives.

We’re now proud to say we’re not just an award winning company, we’re record breaking too!

Check out other portraits painted as part of the record attempt by following #PAOTYWorldRecord on social media.

A Bit More Info

Guinness World Records
A British reference book published annually, listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. The brainchild of Sir Hugh Beaver, the book was co-founded by twin brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter in Fleet Street, London, in August 1955.
It is now the global authority on all things record-breaking, with offices in UK, US, China, Japan, and UAE, as well as official adjudicators who verify records all over the world.

Sir Lenny Henry
Sir Lenworth George Henry CBE , who is a British actor, comedian, singer, television presenter and writer. Henry gained success as a stand-up comedian and impressionist in the late 1970s and early 1980s, culminating in The Lenny Henry Show in 1984.

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year
Portrait Artist of the Year is a prestigious televised competition. For the past ten years, Sky Arts has led the charge on finding the best portrait artists in the UK, with the help of judges Kate Bryan, Kathleen Soriano and Tai Shan Schierenberg. Last year, Morag Caister was crowned the winner of the series, and was invited to paint a portrait of actor, comedian, and writer, Sir Lenny Henry for the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection.

Read All About It!

We made it onto the Indy100! These top stories are written by The Independent’s journalists but selected by ‘upvotes’ from readers.

The Telegraph had a huge level of interest in this story; it was syndicated in 100+ regionals across the UK with a fabulous mention of art-K! Here’s the full list…