Can-Do Event Returns to Taubman Museum of Art

Canstruction Southwest Virginia returns to the
Taubman Museum of Art March 1 – 17

“Canstruction”, a creative and competitive event featuring massive sculptures built entirely from cans of food, is returning to southwest Virginia with an exhibition at Roanoke’s Taubman Museum of Art.

This year’s building competition will take place on Friday, March 1. The exhibit of the finished sculptures – called “cansculptures” — is open to the public and will run for two weeks, from Saturday, March 2, through Sunday, March 17.

“The Taubman Museum of Art is honored to be a part of this importan

t initiative to support those in need in our community,” said Cindy Petersen, the museum’s executive director. “Creativity sustains all of us — and in this case, quite literally — bringing together hearts, hands and minds to do great things.”

Winning can-sculptures are revealed during exhibit opening day festivities, beginning at 2 p.m. on March 2.

When the exhibit closes, can-sculptures are dismantled and all cans go directly to Feeding America Southwest Virginia for distribution to people throughout our region facing hunger.

In 2016, the six teams participating in the Canstruction SWVA competition and the People’s Choice voting combined to provide more than 17,000 lbs. pounds of food.

“Canstruction SWVA gives our whole community an opportunity to get involved with our mission and shines a unique light on the food insecurity struggles faced by so many families across this region,” said Feeding America Southwest Virginia President and CEO Pamela Irvine.

This year, six teams from across the region—including architecture, engineering, and construction firms, and public schools—are again committing their time and talents to design and build can-sculptures. Returning participants include AECOM, Roanoke County Public Schools – Burton Center for Arts and Tech, Roanoke City Public Schools – Forest Park Academy and SFCS. New to the competition this year are Burns & McDonnell, and a combined team from Wells Fargo and Clark Nexsen.

Each team is required to raise funds to purchase their cans of food, which Kroger provides at a reduced cost.

Construction rules specify that the maximum size of a can-sculpture be 10 feet wide by 10 feet in length and 10 feet tall. Cans must be structurally self-supporting, and teams may not use glue to alter cans or deface labels. A local jury will determine winners in several categories, including Best Use of Labels, Best Meal, Best Original Design, Structural Ingenuity, Most Cans, and People’s Choice.

Collection bins will be placed inside the Taubman Museum to accept donations of additional cans of food from the public. Visitors may donate canned goods or funds at the museum’s front desk to “vote” for the People’s Choice favorite cansculpture, which is announced after the exhibit closes.

Since 1992, Canstruction events have raised nearly 70 million pounds of food for local hunger relief organizations. Each year, 10,000+ volunteers participate in Canstruction events in over 150 cities around the world.

For more news and information about Canstruction SWVA, visit


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