A bodega cat has taken up residence at Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan. But this particular kitty is made from more than 2,800 cans of tuna, beans, sliced peaches and tomato paste. It can only happen at Canstruction New York.
"Teams of architects and engineers get together and build these amazing, incredible sculptures out of full cans of food," said Jennifer Greene, a founding committee member of Canstruction.
They have now been doing it now for 30 years. Canstruction was founded by the late Cheri Melillo and colleagues from the New York Chapter of the Society for Design Administration, also known as SDA. Greene has been part of it the volunteer effort since the beginning.
"We started with eight tiny little structures 30 years ago and now this year we have 20," said Greene.
For three decades, Canstruction has partnered with the city's largest food rescue organization, City Harvest. When the sculptures are deconstructed on Nov. 14, all of it goes towards feeding Hungry New Yorkers.
Canstruction has donated nearly 2 million pounds of food since this all started. City Harvest says the help is needed now more than ever.
"We are seeing that visits to soup kitchens and food pantries are up 70% compared to before the pandemic, so our work is really more important than it ever has been before," said Jenna Harris, associate director for donor relations and the supply chain team at City Harvest, which is celebrating 40 years helping New Yorkers.
Canstruction has called Brookfield Place, the shopping and dining destination in Battery Park City, its home for 15 years. The sculptures are always a popular attraction for folks who work or visit.
"Tenants love it here, the neighborhood loves it and then of course we welcome all of New York City to come down to visit us at Brookfield Place and see Canstruction,” said Elysa Marden, senior vice president for Arts Brookfield.
Admission to Canstruction is free, but visitors are asked to bring some cans of food to make the donation to City Harvest even bigger. Plus, they can vote on your favorite sculpture for the people's choice award.
Find out more on the Canstruction website.