Six hours into Saturday’s second annual Canstruction event, about 10 Rocky Mountain College students remained, diligently stacking and carefully placing cans.
Their goal was to build a replica of Lightning McQueen, from Pixar’s animated film Cars, using between 2,500 and 4,000 cans.
“It’s been nonstop,” said Denise DeLeone, a 24-year-old business major set to graduate this year.
“We’ve had to do some design changes. It’s tough because with ours, our cans are on their sides instead of stacked on their tops.”
Canstruction challenges teams paired with local architects to build sculptures out of canned food for the Billings Food Bank.
The RMC students were one of four teams on Saturday to build 10-square-feet by 8-feet-tall Disney Pixar movie-themed constructions at the food bank, 2112 Fourth Ave. N.
All of the roughly 10,000 cans used for the sculptures will be donated to the food bank.
“It’s a fun thing,” said Sheryle Shandy, the food bank’s executive director. “There’s lots of chattering and laughing. It’s just a great example of the community support we have here.”
The teams, which had an average of seven people each, came from RMC Students in Free Enterprise, the RMC Campus Corps, Albertson’s and HDR Engineering Inc.
They were assisted by architects Jim Beal from CTA Architects Engineers, Sherril Burke from HGFA, Mike Patterson with Bozeman-based TUYA Studios Inc., and JGA Architects.
Other sculptures were Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Can-derella’s Castle and Alice in Wonderland’s maze garden.
The event is sponsored by the RMC Campus Corps and challenged participants to gather the cans of food themselves through fundraisers and drives. Jill Washburn, RMC Campus Corps leader, said it’s also a great way to teach her students about community service.
“You’re getting so many people involved,” she said. “It’s a very creative and artistic way of having a food drive, and getting involved in the community is just priceless.”
That’s something that seemed to have taken root with the students Saturday afternoon.
“It’s kind of fun to build things out of cans and have people see it, but the main thing is to create awareness,” DeLeone said.
The sculptures will be on display beginning Sunday and continuing through April 15 at the Billings Food Bank. Organizers ask that people donate a can of food while viewing them.
On Tuesday, judges will assess the sculptures and give out awards. That ceremony is open to the public and begins at 4:30 p.m. at the food bank.