Canstruction Makes Creations Out of Cans

The Associated Press
Saturday, November 11, 2006; 2:35 PM

NEW YORK -- It's a can-do event. Architects and engineers recently gathered at Canstruction, an annual event held in New York and other cities, to build giant sculptures made from full cans of food. The show is meant to raise awareness of hunger issues.

This year's top winners in New York included a "canstruction" of a lion and a lamb lying down together. It was built by the team from Butler Rogers Baskett Architects.

The sculpture, titled "If They Can, We Can," was made of Bush Bean cans and meant to send a message of peace among adversaries to Washington, D.C., said Cheri Melillo, president and executive director of the event. It was made of about 5,500 cans, she said.

This is the 14th year the competition has been in New York, and the 11th year that it has been held elsewhere in North America. This year, 80 cities, including New York, are participating.

The exhibit opened Thursday at the New York Design Center. It is slated to run through Nov. 22 at the center, located at 200 Lexington Ave

The individual teams are responsible for acquiring their own canned foods. The New York cans will be donated this year to City Harvest.

About 600 teams are expected to participate throughout North America, with about 2 million pounds worth of canned foods expected to be donated.

In New York, 42 teams participated, using 153,000 cans total. Only five people on a team can build the sculptures at once. The teams get only one night _ this year in New York it was Wednesday _ to construct their sculptures, Melillo said.

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