Yes We Can(s)

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For the last few years, the NYS Museum in Albany has featured a “Canstruction” exhibit, where teams create sculptures out of canned goods as a fundraiser for the Food Pantries for the Capital District. It’s something that always sounds like a fun thing for me to check out and which I routinely forget about until after the exhibit has closed. I probably would have forgotten about the exhibit again this year, except I happened to be over by the State Museum for an appointment earlier last week and saw promotions for it. Since the museum isn’t that far from my office, I decided that I would just pop over there on my lunch hour to check it out – admission to the State Museum is free and I knew the exhibit wasn’t going to be large enough that I couldn’t see all of it in the time allotted. Yesterday seemed as good a day as any to do it, though in retrospect, going to the kid-friendly museum on a day that local schools were on break and the weather was dreary may not have been the smartest time to go. The museum was very busy and there were kids everywhere, but I still managed to get in and out quickly, snapping some photos along the way. I also hadn’t fully planned ahead that I was going to the exhibit, so I hadn’t brought a can good to donate. Though you aren’t obligated to do so, I would have felt pretty crappy if I didn’t, so I wound up donating the can of soup that was supposed to be my lunch (I stopped and grabbed something on the way back to the office, so it wasn’t a huge sacrifice).

The theme this year was heroes, so many of the sculptures had a definite pop culture bend. There were a lot of superheroes and animated film characters in the mix:

Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story

Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story

 

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Batman

 

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Emmet from The LEGO Movie

 

Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man and Hulk

Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man and Hulk – Marvel and DC apparently teamed up

 

Captain America

Captain America

 

Wall-E

Wall-E

 

Some other contestants took a different spin on the theme:

Guitar Hero

Guitar Hero

 

Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong

 

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter

 

Veterans

Veterans

 

I was pretty impressed with not only the creativity on display, but also the workmanship of the sculptures. Some of them were harder to figure out than others – I must have stood in front of the “Guitar Hero” sculpture for a few minutes trying to get the visual. It wasn’t until I stepped further away from it and was at the right angle that I could process what they were going for. I was never good at the magic-eye posters either; I never saw whatever the hidden picture was.

 

In the end, I voted for The LEGO Movie sculpture, though I was tempted to show Rosie the Riveter some love because, you know, girl power. But Emmet was just too fun and well done for me to ignore. I’m glad that I took the time to finally check out the exhibit; it was a nice little diversion from the work day and supported a good cause. All the children that were running around really seemed to get a kick out of it too, plus there was a section for kids to create their own small canstruction projects. I’ll definitely make a point to check out the exhibition next year and see what interesting creations the teams come up with.

Canstruction 2015 runs through April 16th at the NYS Museum. Bring a canned good to vote for your favorite sculpture and support the Food Pantries for the Captial District. Admission is free.

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