Annual Scrapfest challenges artists to turn something old into something amazing
Wednesday, June 22 — What do you get when you cross 9,000 pounds of scrap metal with 18 teams of enthusiastic welders, artists and families? Aside from a healthy dose of upcycled art, you also form the basis of the third annual Oldtown Scrapfest.
Participating teams were given one hour to collect up to 500 pounds of discarded scrap metal from Friedland Industries’ scrap yard and two weeks to craft their materials and ideas into metallic realities. Brittney Hoszkiw, the executive director for the Old Town Commercial Association, described the process as an exciting scene of “organized chaos” as everyone scrambled to collect their materials. This Friday and Saturday, the 18 sculptures will be out on display in the parking lot near Turner Street and Grand River.
“Expect to be surprised!” Hoszkiw excitedly advises to anyone interested in attending Scrapfest, which will be held in conjunction with Oldtown’s Festivals of the Moon and Sun. “It’s an unusual event. Even for us who are involved, we’re always surprised to see the different items created for the event.”
If you fall in love with any of the masterpieces, you’re in luck: Each artwork is up for auction, and bids will be accepted from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. One-third of the winning bid will be given to the creating artist/s as a stipend for the time and materials they spend, and the rest will be collected by the Old Town Commercial Association as a fundraiser to promote and support future and current public art events. In previous years, the average winning bids were around $500, but the total can vary greatly. Smaller pieces of recycled scrap art, such as magnets and pins, will also be available for purchase.
Aside from offering entertaining eye candy for the public and providing financial support for art programs, Scrapfest also has a competitive edge. A panel of judges will evaluate each of the sculptures and prizes will be awarded to first and second place at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The public is also encouraged to participate by completing voting ballots for a people’s choice award.
Last year, an estimated 10,000 people visited and viewed the sculptures, and this year, that number is expected to grow.
Visit oldtownscrapfest.com for more information, or to view videos of the scrap collection and creative process involved in turning trash into treasure.