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Putnam Artist Sets Second World Record

Suzanne Kraus Mancuso has painted more than 1,100 pictures of religious buildings.

Suzanne Mancuso, the artist who set a world record in October 2010 by making a large scale painting of the Virgin Mary, has now set a second world record.

She is being recognized for having painted the most church, temple and shrine paintings by a single artist.

"I loved this project," Mancuso told Patch as she displayed her finished product: 1,100 paintings of various religious buildings from the area and around the world. "It was really one of my favorite [projects.]"

(Watch a video of Mancuso speaking about her project in the video to the right.)

In order to set the world record, Mancuso had to paint at least 1,000 religious buildings. She started working on the project in November 2010 by painting them on the back of her original painting, which she cut into small pieces. 

Mancuso lives in Putnam Valley resident, but she grew up in the Carmel-Mahopac area. A lifelong resident of the county, she's very familiar with the area, and says St Andrew's Episcopal Church is her favorite in Brewster and Southeast.

Next door in Patterson, Mancuso ran into a bit of a surprise.

"I was sent a picture of a church that my family member was a pastor of. That was a big mystery. It was The Christ Wayside Church. His name was Rv Floyd Fisher," she said. "This project has been such a journey for me."

The artist originally displayed her large-scale painting of Virgin Mary in 2010 at the Grace Lutheran Church in Yorktown, where she has been a member for more than two decades. There, Pastor Tim Kennedy blessed Mancuso's original painting once it was completed.

"I think it's remarkable the talent that could take so many places of worship," he said as he saw for the very first time Mancuso' second project. "Look at the vibrancy of the color and I think it's an amazing work of art and sentiment."

For her latest project, Mancuso said she decided to include everybody by asking people to send her pictures of various religious buildings which she then painted. The response has been tremendous, she said. She has gotten pictures from all over the area, as well as Connecticut and New Jersey. 

Although she was painting churches and temples, Mancuso said her project is not religious. It was her fascination with the architectural design of each building, different from the next one, that got her to do it.

Mancuso, a homemaker, wife and mother of a daughter diagnosed with autism, has always had a fascination for art. She said she set a goal to complete her first world record because she wanted to say she had an accomplishment. 

"I wanted to do something ridiculous," she said of her second project, adding that she didn't think it would get this out of hand. "I wanted to do something cool."

After having completed her project, Mancuso said she would like to find a place where she could display her work of art. She is asking anyone who might have a suggestion, to reach out to her.

After that she will give away each of the 1,100 paintings away because she wants other people to have a piece of the community project especially if a particular church has a significance to them.

Click here to see the Mancuso's second world record recognition.

If you'd like to help, you can send pictures of various religious buildings or for more information email Suzanne Mancuso at Shirleyinoz@aol.com.

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Editor's note: Ashley Tarr contributed to this report.

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