2016-03-14 / Video

Sullivan County 4H groups show artistic talent making ‘canned’ art

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By Allan Stein

CLAREMONT — 4-H groups from across Sullivan County showed their “can-do” spirit Saturday exhibiting artwork made out of canned food and other practical skills Saturday.

It wasn’t your typical “canned art” competition during Sullivan County 4-H Activities Day at Claremont Middle School, said Laurie Field, Sullivan County 4-H outreach coordinator.

The idea of “Canstruction” is to create the most innovative design using canned food and other food items including boxes of cereal and bags of egg noodles.

Field said Canstruction is an innovative competition which incorporates art, design, science, technology, engineering and math principles (STEM). The goal is to instill the importance of community service and the role of food pantries by creating structures made entirely out of canned food.

Sullivan County 4-H partnered with Canstruction in organizing teams of K-12 students to solicit canned food and then work together building innovative designs.

Other activities on Saturday were meant to show that 4-H isn’t all about animal conservation.

“We are not all about farming. There is a lot more that we do. This whole event is to bring awareness to 4-H,” Field said.

Area 4-H groups built 10 art displays using 2,040 cans of food weighing 1,703 pounds.  All food was donated to the Claremont Soup Kitchen and the Newport Food Pantry after the competition.

The Epic NECA 4-H Club at the New England Christian Academy built a scaled replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris using 617 cans of tomato soup and tomato sauce weighing 560 pounds.

“We saw a picture of it on Google. Then we had a vote to do the Eiffel Tower, because we thought it would be the coolest idea,” said group member Anna O’Hara, 13, of Claremont.

Other 4H group displays included the Maple Tree by the GVS Grantham Crew; The Bunny’s Carrot by the Bunny Bunch; Reach for the Future by the Country Kids; The Can Sheep by the Sullivan County Shepherds, Tuna Fish by The Outdoor Adventureers; Fried Egg by the Sullivan County Poultry Lovers; Rogue Robots of 4-H and BB8 droid by 4-H of Claremont, another robot display.

Wendy King of Charlestown said the Eiffel Tower was the most impressive exhibit.

“It is very nice to see the kids go out of their way to do something new with different techniques,” said King.

Her daughter, Marley, 6, liked the red lamp at the base of the tower used to light the display.

“It’s neat. There’s a light inside it,” she said.

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