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Canstruction LA: Canned goods turned into art for good cause

January 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Architects, designers and builders teamed up Thursday for the annual Canstruction Los Angeles. Huge structures of canned goods are displayed for a contest that offers a creative way to feed the hungry.

Created by the Society of Design Administration, Canstruction has been held in over 100 cities in the U.S. for seven years. Proceeds go to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, which distributes food to over 640 charitable agencies.

Kyle Shulman, who is part of the Steinberg Architects team, participated in this year's Canstruction L.A. contest.

"It took about five hours, but four months in the working. The mock build actually took about 10 or 11 hours," said Kyle Shulman, who is part of the Steinberg Architects team. "We have everything from apricots to peaches to cut green beans to whole kernel corn."

Michael Flood, CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank says after the holidays, there's typically a lull in donations, so the extra 30,000 or so cans help considerably.

"They make these really innovative structures and then all that food that comes from this goes to the food bank and helps feed people in the community," said Flood. "Our local unemployment rate is still about 10 percent, so we still have fairly long lines out there of people needing help."

Along with the food cans, cash donations help as $10 turns into 40 meals. A jury of artists, architects and chefs, choose contest winners. There's the juror's favorite, the best structural ingenuity, the best use of labels, and the canned art that will make the best meal. Julie Taylor with Canstruction L.A. said there is also the people choice award. They ask for a $1 donation for each vote, and all the proceeds go to the food bank.

As part of Thursday night's Downtown LA Art Walk, the exhibit opened until 10 p.m. On Friday, it runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Farmers & Merchants Bank Building.

While it's free, there's a $10 suggested donation to the food bank. This year, you can actually text your donation by smartphone.


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