Canstruction kicks off March 26 at the Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center

“It Doesn’t Take a Genius to Help Feed the Hungry,” 2018. Photo courtesy Canstruction

The 22nd annual Canstruction in Cincinnati competition kicks off March 26 as teams unpack and build sculptures made entirely of stacked canned goods and packages of non-perishable food.

The giant displays may measure as large as 10 feet high, 10 feet wide, and 10 feet long, but the 15 teams Cincinnati-area design and architecture firms and two university programs will have only five hours to unpack and create their “sculptures.”

The following day, judges will pick the winners for “Best Original Design,” “Best Use of Labels,” “Best Meal,” “Structural Ingenuity,” and “Most Cans.” The public can vote on Facebook for the “People’s Choice Award.”

Awards will be presented at a ticketed Awards Gala in the Fifth Third Bank Theater at the Aronoff Center on Friday, April 5.

The sculptures will be on display for three weeks at seven downtown locations, including the Cincinnati Arts Association’s Weston Art Gallery and the Otto Budig Lobby in the Aronoff Center for the Arts, as well as satellite locations at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County downtown branch, the Scripps Center on Walnut Street, the Hyatt Regency hotel on West Fifth Street, PNC Center on East Fifth Street, and The Center at 600 Vine on the corner of Sixth and Vine streets.

Also offered in conjunction with Canstruction is “Strut the Structures,” three Saturday morning tours on March 30, April 6 and 13, starting at 10 a.m. at the Weston Art Gallery. Hosted by a Canstruction team leader, guests will have a downtown hike to all five additional sites, and are advised to wear comfortable shoes.

Canstruction in Cincinnati fulfills the greater purpose of providing for the needy. At the conclusion of the three-week display, all canned and packaged food used to build the sculptures is donated to the Freestore Foodbank, which distributes to member agencies across 20 counties that serve pantries, soup kitchens, elderly and daycare centers.

This year’s competition includes teams from: ASCE Students / Cincinnati State,  BHDP Architecture/Messer Construction, Champlin Architecture, CR Architecture + Design, Danis Construction, Elevar/Kroger FRCH Design Worldwide, GBBN Architects,  HDR Inc., HGC Construction/M+A Architects, Hixson Architects Engineering & Interiors, K4 Architecture, KZF/PEDCO, MSA Architects, THP Ltd., Turner Construction Company, and University of Cincinnati – Construction Student Association.

Local sponsors of Canstruction are the Cincinnati chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the Society for Design Administration. Judges are Janet Hill of Hill Events and Project Management; Matt Knotts of HighStreet; Dr. Lawrence C. Kurtzman, medical director for Operation Smile; Ross Meyer, interim CEO of United Way of Greater Cincinnati; and Tamara Harkavy, CEO and artistic director of ArtWorks.

Cincinnati is one of more than 150 cities internationally participating in Canstruction, a not-for-profit foundation under the auspices of the SDA.

Winners in several categories will be chosen to move on to national competition. In the past several years, teams from Cincinnati have placed or won in at least one national category.

Canstruction Awards Gala, April 5, Fifth Third Bank Theater, Aronoff Center
Gala tickets:

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