Saturday, December 16, 2006

Can Hunger

This morning I saw an ad for the Kroger grocery chain's "Can Hunger" drive (worst logo ever, btw) and was reminded of a little project we did back in school.

As part of some local art-school competition here in Atlanta, we at the Portfolio Center were asked to submit designs for sculptures to be built out of Kroger private-label products and displayed in a local mall. All products used in our designs would then be donated to a local food bank.

I was teamed up with the limitlessly talented Robert Finkle. He and I were initially a little suspicious of whether we were competing with like junior high kids or something so we came up with all these really high-minded conceptual works of art first. I figured if we were gonna do it we should "art" this thing up such that people would feel small and artistically retarded upon viewing our Dada-esque works that they wouldn't be able to grasp. "What do all the doll heads covered in spagetti sauce signify?" they would ask. And their heads would no doubt hurt.

Given the structural hurdles and fears of a canned good collpase, we decided on a less complicated though no less conceptual design we called "Can Hunger"—the bad pun was ours first. They ripped it. At any rate, our "sculpture" was chosen to be built and so we had to go out to the glorious Discover Mills mall and build it on a Saturday morning for all to see.

The structure itself was nothing more than a huge can made from, you guessed it, cans. The trick was three "windows" in its wall through which you could view little signs we made (I told you this thing was pretty deep). One of the windows was high up, one a little lower and one around waist-high and through each one read the message "100% of hunger in men/women/children is preventable." The men one was the top one, women in the middle, etc. All type was done on cardboard and the title of the project was written on a piece leaned up against it.

It was no contest and we won the competition handily. Check it (and excuse the underwear exposure. We had both agreed to do the tough-guy/rapper pose but only one guy acutally did it):


We each won $250 gift cards to the mall. Despite swearing if I won I was gonna buy a gun at the massive Bass Pro Shops I instead just bought some sunglasses, a jacket and some shoes.

Another funny story is we were given a $50 gift card to Home Depot with which to buy any hardware we needed for the build. Since we basically needed a dowl rod, some fishing line and three pieces of metal we had some cash left over and used it to buy supplies (lights, tape, etc.) for the world's greatest 80's party that took place that night at the Acorn Avenue house.

It rocked.

Oh, and working all day because we're pitching an account on 1/4 is no fun. Just in case you were wondering how I spent my sunny and 70-degree day.

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