Life-size sculptures of canned goods at Oak Park Mall support Harvesters

Canstruction Kansas City is back this year at Oak Park Mall. The exhibit is free for viewers until it closes Feb. 28.

Towering displays made of canned goods are on display at Harvesters’ Canstruction competition at Oak Park Mall.

Nearly a dozen structures, most of them built by architectural engineering firms, are competing for the best marks with their own creative sculptures made entirely from canned food and nonperishable food items. This year’s display opened Jan. 30 and ends Feb. 28 at Oak Park Mall, 11149 W. 95th Street, Overland Park.

Canstruction is an international program of the Society of Design Administration that challenges teams to design and build huge, creative sculptures made only from canned food and other nonperishable food items. This is the 19th annual Canstruction event executed by Harvesters, a Kansas City-based food network.

A canned goods display of Back to the Future won awards for Best Original Design and Most Cans.

The display is free and open during mall hours. Visitors can see themes with Winter Wonderland, Star Wars, Back to the Future and tributes to the Kansas City area, including our home football team, the Chiefs.

When the exhibit closes, the food is donated to Harvesters. Hallinan said that during its history here in Kansas City, Canstruction has provided nearly 623,000 pounds of food — equal to nearly 520,000 meals — to people who are hungry. This year alone, Canstruction teams are using almost 47,000 cans and nonperishable food items.

“We get these wonderful architectural engineering firms, and the companies come up with the idea of what they want to do,” said Gene Hallinan, communications manager for Harvesters — The Community Food Network. “It’s so much fun to see the detailed plans that they do.”

Sculptures were judged in the categories of Best Meal, Structural Ingenuity, Best Use of Labels, Most Cans and Best Original Design by a panel of judges.

Voting for people’s choice award is also available on Harvesters’ website. Each vote includes $1 donation to Harvesters.

  • ACI Boland Architects – Twist Out Hunger
  • CRB – Winter Wonderland (won the Best Meal award)
  • Davidson Architecture and Engineering – Blasting Hunger to the Moon (won the Best Use of Labels award)
  • DLR Group – CAN We Do It? Yes, We CAN!
  • Henderson Engineers – We’re Going Back to the Future (celebrating the 35th anniversary of the film, Back to the Future) (won two awards – Best Original Design and Most Cans)
  • Hunt Midwest – Let’s Go, Kansas City!
  • HTK Architects – End Hunger, We CAN! (with Baby Yoda)
  • Johnson County Community College CSI-Student Chapter – Western Auto Building
  • Populous – What’s on Tap? (celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Boulevard Brewery) (won the Structural Ingenuity award)
  • Pulse Design Group – The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • studioNorth Architecture – Stay-Puft Climbs the Power and Light Building
  • The award-winning structures will represent Kansas City in the national Canstruction competition. The winners of the national competition will be selected and honored at the Society of Design Administration’s national meeting.