“Could five hundred men have painted the Sistine Chapel?” —William Lear

Certainly. Any number of men (and women) could have painted the Sistine Chapel. With spray cans, it’d be a quick job.

Of course, this isn’t Lear’s point. Lear suggests that art by committee cannot result in the execution of a singular vision. (And if there weren’t a committee, it’d be a community mural.)

But even if there were 500 painters as competent as Michelangelo, or if it were a paint-by-numbers project, the story wouldn’t be the same. What’s amazing about the Sistine Chapel as we know it is the story of one artist, his struggle, his strength, and his vision.

What’s amazing about a community mural is the story of a group, their diversity, their perspectives, and their combined voices. Could Michelangelo paint one on his own?