VIDEO: Artists convert trash into sculptures at ScrapFest
Scrapfest is an annual festival that takes place in Old Town in Lansing. Local artists and craftsmen have one hour to collect scraps from a junkyard and two weeks to turn those scraps into a work of art. During the two-day festival, local residents have an opportunity to come out and vote on their favorite sculptures.
Rusted metal, old car doors, and old fence wire may seem like trash to some people but to others it is a work of art. At ScrapFest that’s held in Old Town you can see exactly how the scrap metal can become art.
The ScrapFest started seven years ago and it has grown a lot since then with new types of metal sculptures being used.
“Our first year we never had kinetic sculptures and now this is the second year we’ve actually had big beautiful kinetic sculptures,” said Austin Ashley, executive director of Old Town commercial association.
The event starts off with the artist going to Friedland Industries where they have one hour to pull up to 500 pounds of scrap metal and then with the metal that they pull up they have two weeks to create a work of art. Some of the art included a dragon, a whale that moved when a wheel was turned and a lighthouse that could actually function as one.
The art pieces are all in competition with a first through third place trophy given out to winners. There is also a people’s choice award that is given out based on votes from the audience. The art pieces that are made are all auctioned off on the second day of the event and the proceeds from the auction are split between the artist and the old town commercial association.
The scrap art isn’t seen as junk, especially to those who place bids on it and appreciate the work put into it.
“It’s a lot of fun to see local artist and their vision of taking something old and what would be trash for other people and with their vision and hard work completely transform it into beauty and art,” said Emily Emerson, a Lansing resident that won the bid on the dragon sculpture.
The first place winner this year was a whale that moved when a wheel was turned with the movement mimicking how whale’s swim. The whale piece called “Jonah” not only won but was also the highest bided item and it went for $4,100. The whale was made by a team called Hammered and was lead by Ivan Iller who owns Hammer in Hand Custom Cycles. Iller didn’t have a background in art besides sketching casually but his art has managed to win first place for the past three years.
“I didn’t really learn how to do this stuff it was just kind of like if you going to make it work how could it work and you just kind of have to figure it out,” said Iller. “I have always had a good head for mechanics.”