March 18 2013 12:00 AM

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

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 for more information, or to view videos of the scrap
collection and creative process involved in turning trash into treasure.