How and why do teams of architects and construction professionals turn thousands of cans of food into sculptures? Those watching the building of the fifth biennial Canstruction Rhode Island sculpture exhibit Saturday morning, March 8, are encouraged to ask questions of team members as they step outside their 10-foot-square "construction sites" along the Providence Place Skybridge Concourse. The free competitive exhibit, which benefits the Rhode Island Community Food Bank (www.rifoodbank.org), will run through Friday, March 21.
In addition to providing a major canned food donation, the juried exhibit is designed to raise awareness of the problem of hunger and the necessity for more donors to step up to the plate. The R.I. Community Food Bank needs increased contributions to continue serving more than 68,000 people each month through its statewide network of food pantries. The need for food assistance has grown significantly since 2008, when the Food Bank was serving 37,000 Rhode Islanders.
The Canstruction RI competition features awards selected by a panel of independent jurors, and the opportunity for teams to submit photos of winning sculptures to the international competition (see www.Canstruction.org). The juried award categories are Best Meal, Best Use of Labels, Structural Ingenuity and Jurors' Favorite as well as up to two Honorable Mentions. Viewers may vote for the local "People's Choice" award.
Keeping the theme and design of their sculptures under wraps until the March 8 build day are seven teams that include employees and members of the:
* Construction Leadership Council of the R.I. Chapter of Associated General Contractors, Providence;
* Dimeo Construction Co. and Vision 3 Architects, both based in Providence;
* Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels Architects, Providence, GTECH Corporation, Providence, Herrick & White, Cumberland, and Odeh Engineers, Providence;
* Gilbane Building Co., Providence, and Jo Ann Bentley Architect, Inc., Fall River;
* LLB Architects, Pawtucket, Shawmut Design and Construction, Providence, and Fuzion Design, Pawtucket;
* Northeast Collaborative Architects, Newport and Providence, Veri-Waterman Associates, Providence, Building Engineering Resources LLC, North Easton, Mass., and Kasabian Construction Inc., Providence; and
* Saccoccio & Associates, DiPrete Engineering and E. Turgeon Construction Corp., all based in Cranston.
The Canstruction Rhode Island exhibit is organized by the American Institute of Architects-Rhode Island chapter, and supported by many other volunteers and donors as a joint public service activity. Among the major event sponsors is the R.I. Associated General Contractors, some of whose commercial contractor members and the organization's Construction Leadership Council help form teams that raise additional money to buy the cans of food and build the sculptures that the architects on each team design. Canstruction is a national food charity of the design and construction industry, sponsored by the Society for Design Administration.