Thursday, January 14, 2010

CANstruction® Combines Art & Community Service in Kansas City

When an affiliate of the American Institute of Architects, the Society of Design Administration, founded the CANstruction ® event 16 years ago, little did they know how enormous their effort would become. The idea behind the project was to create structures using cans and other food/beverage containers, which would later be donated to food-related charities.

Today, the global anti-hunger project takes place in 100+ cities across the nation - including Kansas City, Missouri. Participants in last year's local event used more than 33,000 pounds of food to create their inventive structures, which translated into almost 27,000 meals for Harvesters - The Community Food Network. 

On January 13, 2010, 16 teams of local architects, engineers, contractors and students created 'sculptures' in the lobby at Union Station, made from food items such as  mixed nuts and bottled water, seen in the 'igloo' above, built by students from the University of Kansas Interior Design program. Local event sponsors include Price Chopper, Focus Architecture, BRR Architecture and Henderson Engineers, Inc.

George Butler Associates worked on a structure whose design they had planned months earlier, which incorporated green beans, pinto beans, and yams, to name only a few 'ingredients.' 

Beside this representation of beverage bottles, Focus Architecture worked to create a tornado effect that included hundreds of cans of black eyed peas.

A preview party for the massive exhibiton takes place on Thursday evening, January 14 (tickets are $20), and the exhibit opens to the public, Jan. 15-Feb. 10. Visitors can vote for their favorite sculpture by making a donation to Harvesters. Judges will determine winners of Best Meal, Structural Ingenuity, Best Use of Labels, Jurors Favorite and Honorable Mention, and the winners will then participate in the national CANstruction® competition.

Visit CANstruction® at Union Station and cast a vote for your favorite.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Buffalo Thunders - Santa Fe

The final evening of our press trip began with a tour through Buffalo Thunder Resort, located about 15 minutes north of Santa Fe.  After we toured the lobby, the spa and the indoor pool area, we visited the breathtaking Governor's Suite, bi-level accommodations with two bathrooms, an enormous living room with two-story windows and fireplace, multiple bedrooms, and exquisite art and furnishings - often made of natural materials.

Then the group assembled on a wide terrace for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, as roiling clouds that had contained their stormy contents so effectively for the past several days prepared to unleash their fury. Wind whipped across the landscape as thunder growled in the distance.

A sudden gust assaulted the terrace. Pedestal tables teetered, women held down their skirts, and guests grabbed every glass and plate they could carry. The staff ushered the crowd into an adjacent lobby, pulling the portable bar in behind them and, within minutes, the storm 'disappeared' behind thick adobe walls. The storm somehow seemed a fitting tribute to the resort where we shared our last dinner before departing for home.