CANstruction sculptures on display now to benefit Freestore Foodbank

In the 26 years of the event, 1.2 million pounds of food has been donated to the Freestore Foodbank.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 3:14 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Tens of thousands of canned goods are on display at six locations across Cincinnati to bring awareness to food insecurity in the Tri-State.

One of those locations is the Weston Art Gallery. That’s where teams of architects, engineers and designers in the Cincinnati area compete for the best sculpture made out of canned food.

In the 26 years this event has been happening, 1.2 million pounds of food has been donated to the Freestore Foodbank.

“This is what it’s really all about,” explains Freestore Foodbank CEO Kurt Reiber, “Because this not only raises food for the food bank and our 600 plus pantries but also allows us to raise awareness about food insecurity in our Tri-State area.”

Teams compete for best original design, structural integrity, best use of label, most cans, best meal and people’s choice awards.

One sculpture will eventually look like Bluey, the popular children’s TV character. It will be 10 feet tall and made of 3,500 cans. It’s being constructed by MSA Design.

“We want the kids to light up and be happy and recognize it as Bluey,” says MSA Design Associate Dan Montgomery, “And we want the parents to find some joy in it as well.”

Montgomery says he has been part of CANstruction for almost 20 years. But each year there are always new obstacles to overcome.

“I’ve done this enough times that I know what we’re doing sort of,” says Montgomery, “There’s always some hiccups, there’s always some things that don’t go your way. It is pretty stressful the day of and a few days leading up to it.”

It takes months of preparing and designing to come up with these ideas. Then the teams have five hours to put the cans together.

At the end of the day, all of this work is to help feed the one in three people that deal with food insecurity in the Tri-State. Regardless of who wins this contest, those are the real winners.

You are asked to bring a canned food donation as your admission if you visit one of the locations listed below:

  • The Weston Art Gallery - The front lobby of Aronoff Center for the Arts – 650 Walnut Street
  • The Scripps Center - 312 Walnut Street
  • The Hertz Center – 600 Vine Street
  • The Atrium 1 & 2 – 221 E. 4th Street
  • First Financial 255 E 5th Street
  • GBBN Lobby – 332 E. 8th Street

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