Canned-food drive promises art for a good cause

Posted: Monday, 25 August 2008

TROY – Already under way in the city of Troy, a food drive aims to fill both artistic appetites and aid the hungry in Pike County.

“Canstruction,” a project sponsored by the Troy University Department of Art and Design and the Johnson Center for the Arts in downtown Troy, will team art students, private engineers and designers and the art world to create sculptures using cans donated by the public at various locations throughout Troy.

The artwork will be on display in The Cultural Arts Studio in connection with The Johnson Center’s Grand Opening, that features 35 original Andy Warhol prints. The Grand Opening is scheduled for Sept. 14 at 2 p.m.

“This project benefits the art community, but also the local food banks,” said Greg Skaggs, an assistant professor of art whose 3D Design class will create the sculptures.

“Art is more than just art, it’s about problem solving,” he said. “Art, for the most part, is self-created problems. Design is about solving the problems created by the client, so when you start looking at these projects, they become very involved but hopefully the students will have fun with them.”

Art students, working in teams, will work with sculpture projects that have been designed by architects and engineers and deal with complex issues such as weight distribution and stability as well as create visually appealing but temporary works of art.

When the exhibit is over, the can sculptures will be dismantled and the food will be distributed to area food banks.

The scope of the exhibit depends largely on how many cans are donated and how many similar-sized cans come it, Skaggs said.

In addition to collection bins located throughout the city, canned food may be donated at The Johnson Center, City Hall and the City of Troy Tourism Office.