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Civic Impact

Sculpting with cans and feeding the hungry: it's a balancing act

Past winners have included 8-foot tall cyclones, giant sphinx heads, outsized candelabra and other mammoth structures, all made out of aluminum cans and other food packages. The other winners of the CANstruction competition -- coming to Pittsburgh for the first time this fall -- will be the people fed when all the cans are donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

The giant sculptures take 1,000 or more cans each. While clear tape or wire can be used between cans, and cardboard can be slotted between can layers, none of that can be visible from the outside.

The canned art will be on display at 937 Liberty Ave., in the second-floor gallery, during the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Sept. 30 Gallery Crawl and will be part of a nationwide competition. Anyone can stop by and vote for the local fan favorite as well -- by leaving a can of food near it.

Anastasia Herk, chair of CANstruction Pittsburgh, says the competition is still looking for a few more teams to sign up by Aug. 15.

Anybody with a background in engineering, graphic design, architecture, or art can lead a team, since the Society for Design Administration, the AIA Pittsburgh Young Architects Forum and the American Society of Civil Engineers in Pittsburgh are sponsoring the event. Teams are responsible for getting the right number and color of cans to fit their design by securing a sponsor to donate the food (or money).

The teams are also responsible for picking the right food in the cans.

Notes Herk: "Structures built with Pringles cans are not going to be as well received as something built with green bean cans."
Do Good:
Form a team and sign up here, or contact Anastasia Herk for more information (call 412-605-4827 or click here).

Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Anastasia Herk, CANstruction Pittsburgh
Image courtesy of CANstruction Pittsburgh
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