Culture » Festivals

Canstruction Zone

by

comment

If Auguste Rodin had been handed 6,505 cans of tuna, roast beef, green beans and mushrooms, would he have had the chops to design and build a nearly 6-foot-tall sculpture of Mr. Spud Muffin -- in one day?

Who can say? But if he wanted a break from his plaster, marble and bronze work, Canstruction canned-goods sculpting would've been a nice little diversion. It certainly was for the nine teams whose works are on display now at the 2015 Indiana State Fair.

Housed in the Harvest Pavilion, the structures are part of the 2015 Indiana Canstruction competition. A nonprofit organization that began in 1992, Canstruction raises funds for food banks all over the world, in more than 150 cities with the support from some 30,000 participating volunteers.

The Farminion!! entry by arcDESIGN/CC and Brandt Construction brings youngster's attention to the Gleaners Food Bank charity, supported by the Canstruction competition. - PHOTO BY JAMI STALL
  • Photo by Jami Stall
  • The Farminion!! entry by arcDESIGN/CC and Brandt Construction brings youngster's attention to the Gleaners Food Bank charity, supported by the Canstruction competition.

After the structures are judged this Friday, all the food will be donated to the local Gleaners Food Bank. Considering that 36,000 cans went into the making of the structures, it's already a success for the local food bank. And that translates into 22,000 meals.

Mr. Spuds Muffin stands as just one of the entries. Judy Drummond, administrative support personnel in the engineering facility department of Kroger, helped assemble him this week.

"His mustache is made of canned mushrooms, and we used tuna for his ears and salmon for his nose," she says, recalling the specifics of her team's sculpture. "It's all about the labels and size of cans."

Drummond says the Mr. Potato Head look-alike required the collaborative efforts of 16 team members to design, engineer and construct him. But that still didn't prevent the rotund spud from collapsing on the first day. So they had to make some quick mods to build a wider base and assemble his feet after making his body. They now sit out in front of the body instead of beneath it.

Judy Drummond, administrative support personnel of Team Kroger, (Kroger Central Division) tells how she and her other team members stacked the 6,505 cans to create their Mr. Spud Muffin sculpture -- the second time, after he collapsed. - PHOTO BY JAMI STALL
  • Photo by Jami Stall
  • Judy Drummond, administrative support personnel of Team Kroger, (Kroger Central Division) tells how she and her other team members stacked the 6,505 cans to create their Mr. Spud Muffin sculpture -- the second time, after he collapsed.

In her sixth year participating, Drummond says the Canstruction competition combines the skill strengths of designers, engineers, architects, and other workers to collaborate on the structures.

"Some teams bring in CADs and actually use detailed schematics, building the structures layer by layer," she says.

Veggie Tales Grow on an Indiana Farm transforms canned veggies into the popular children's characters, thanks many local firms and organizations, including Indiana Future Farmers of America. - PHOTO BY JAMI STALL
  • Photo by Jami Stall
  • Veggie Tales Grow on an Indiana Farm transforms canned veggies into the popular children's characters, thanks many local firms and organizations, including Indiana Future Farmers of America.

Team Kroger went at it from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with about eight hours of "active build" time. "This was the toughest build yet," she says.

In addition to their form and structure, the works for this contest needed to echo the Indiana State Fair theme "The Year of the Farmer."

So for example, Mr. Spud Muffin intends to teach "tator tots and small fries" the natural genius of his nutritional makeup. At just 110 calories, a medium potato provides beneficial fiber, potassium and vitamin C, minus any fat, sodium or cholesterol. And he's one of the lucky potatoes grown right here in Central Indiana, which means he helps the local economy and he gets to the grocer's produce department from the farm in a jiffy.

Other exhibits in the competition include Farminion!!, Charlotte's Web, LEGO Gothic, and Veggie Tales Grow on an Indiana Farm, to name a few. But the nine Canstruction Build Teams represent many other different firms and organizations who made it possible

Veggie Tales, for example, was created in part by Indiana Future Farmers of America, along with help from InterDesign Architects, CE Solutions Structural Engineers, Haupert Institute Agricultural Studies of Huntington University and the Hagerman Group.

Visitors are encouraged to vote and then place their ballots in the Plexiglass boxes at the end of the row (near the LEGO Gothic exhibit).

For more information on Canstruction or other Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana fundraisers, check out the websites.

Add a comment