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ASSOCIATED PRESS | File 2006
A monster guarding a castle made of cans are seen as part of the 14th annual "Canstruction" design competition and food drive in New York.
STEPHANIE KLEIN-DAVIS | The Roanoke Times
Artist, painter, Gerald Hubert, 41, has lived in Roanoke for just over two years and moved here from New Jersey. He is working on paintings in an upstairs room of his Old Southwest home on King George Avenue. This one is of an old home. Many of his paintings that hang in the home are of Lady Gaga. His often refers to his house as the "Gaganheim."
Saturday, August 24, 2013
A truly unusual art competition will take place in October at the Taubman Museum of Art — one that doubles as a food drive.
“Canstruction” pits nine teams against one another. Each has 12 hours to build an 8-foot tall sculpture using 900 to 1,500 cans of food .
The sculptures will be built Oct. 3 on the museum’s first floor and displayed from Oct. 4 through Oct. 12. Visitors will be encouraged to bring in cans of their own at the Oct. 4 opening ceremony to exchange for tickets used to vote for a People’s Choice Award.
Once the event is over, all the cans will be donated to Feeding America Southwest Virginia.
Though the event is more than a month away, the committee that runs Canstruction Southwest Virginia is looking for volunteer gallery attendants to help mind and explain the sculptures. The group also needs volunteers to disassemble the sculptures when the show ends.
It’s the first time Canstruction has been held in Southwest Virginia. “Part of the challenge is just trying to get people to understand, what is Canstruction?” said artist Nan Mahone Wellborn, who serves on the committee.
The first Canstruction took place in New York City in 1992 and since then has expanded to become a nonprofit organization that has held competitions in more than 140 cities. Lora Katz, an architect at Gilliam Katz Architecture + Design in Roanoke, participated in a Canstruction in Washington, D.C., six years ago and wanted to bring the event to Roanoke.
According to canstruction.org, the charity competition was originally intended to unite professionals in construction and architectural design, and indeed the teams in the Taubman competition include architecture engineering firms AECOM, Balzer and Associations, Clark Nexsen, Hill Studio, SFCS and Spectrum Design. But there are also teams from Member One Federal Credit Union, Hollins University and Roanoke County School’s Burton Center for Arts and Technology.
Kroger, a sponsor for the event, will allow the teams to buy cans at a discount and is donating them for the Burton Center student team.
The large sculptures require some clever can stacking. Each must fit upon a 10-foot-square pad. There’s no glue allowed — though velcro or tape can be permitted — and the colors of the can labels must be taken into account in the design.
The prizes include “Structural Ingenuity” and “Best Use of Labels,” but also “Best Meal” — the competitors have to consider whether the canned food they’ve chosen can be used to make a nutritional meal. No more than five team members can work on the sculpture at any given time.
The judges will be Roanoke Times metro columnist Dan Casey; Jack Davis, dean of the Virginia Tech School of Architecture; Hollins University President Nancy Gray; Roanoke artist Tif Robinette; Del. Onzlee Ware (D-Roanoke); and James Zeisler, who runs Virginia Western Community College’s Culinary Arts School.
To volunteer, visit tinyurl.com/cansvolunteer.
For more information on the competition, visit Canstruction Southwest Virginia on Facebook.
Van Gogh nights
Roanoke artist Gerry Hubert, who formerly ran the POParazzi Studio and Gallery on Kirk Avenue, returned to downtown Roanoke last month with Wonderland Gallery, a space at 124 Campbell Ave. S.W. that features work from several regional artists, as well as his own paintings.
During the Sept. 6 Art by Night downtown gallery tour, Hubert will debut “Starry City Nights,” a series of paintings he’s done of nighttime Roanoke scenes in which he’s emulated the thick, swirling brush strokes of Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh.
Wonderland will also showcase new work from Grandin Village artist Katherine Devine through September.
For more information, call 525-8013 or visit www.wonderlandroanoke.com
Greene Memorial season
Greene Memorial United Methodist Church at 402 Second St. in Roanoke has announced the schedule for the 2013-14 Fine Arts Series.
All concerts are free unless otherwise noted.
Those familiar with the series know a season wouldn’t be complete without appearances by New York-based musicians Cenovia and Stephanie Cummins, Richard’s daughters. Violinist Cenovia serves as concertmaster for the Nov. 24 performance and appears again in March playing fiddle and mandolin as part of Broadway Bluegrass. Cellist Stephanie will also perform Nov. 24.
For more information, call 344-6225 or visit gmumc.org.
On the Arts blog
Hollins Theatre Director Ernie Zulia is directing a reprisal of the musical “Good Ol’ Girls” at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon that runs until Sept. 7. For more details visit blogs.roanoke.com/arts.
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