Scrap Can Be Beautiful

Apr 13, 2015

Editor’s Note: Each year at the ISRI Convention and Exposition, the Recycling Research Foundation conducts a silent auction to raise funds for its research and scholarship programs. At this year’s event in Vancouver, April 21-25, there will be approximately 30 items to bid on by those present including the sculptures highlighted below that were donated by Commercial Metals

Scrap Can Be Beautiful

Since 1978, Commercial Metals Company has proudly presented the annual “Scrap Can Be Beautiful” contest and exhibit. This exhibit features art sculptures created by students in a metal sculpture class at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts located in Dallas, Texas. All scrap metal used in the various sculptures is donated to the school by Commercial Metals Company from one of our local recycling yards in the Dallas area.

The artwork is judged each year by a panel of professionals comprised of artists and individuals who have worked in the arts field, some of whom have judged the contest for over 20 years. Sculptures are judged in ‘Tabletop’ and ‘Floor’ categories and the winning entries are then displayed in the Commercial Metals Company’s corporate lobby for the term of one year.

The 37th annual “Scrap Can Be Beautiful” contest was held the week of January 12th, 2015 with 18 students participating and entering 35 sculptures for judging. Paige Furr, Sculpture and 3D Visual Arts Co-Coordinator for the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, once again supervised and inspired her students to create beautiful works of art. Each piece is carefully welded and sculpted to reflect the individuality of the student artists.

Six winners were selected; three in the ‘Tabletop’ and three in the ‘Floor’ categories. Students of the winning sculptures were awarded ribbons and monetary prizes during Commercial Metals Company’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Each student was also given the option to enter the pieces they wished to sell into a silent auction where employees were allowed to bid and purchase pieces.

The two selections we’re presenting to ISRI this year are from the floor and table categories.  Artist Sydney Shreve created the piece, Metalcycle and artist Celeste Rodela developed the item, Scale.  These two pieces are but a few examples of artwork which capture the simplicity and imagination that the Scrap Can Be Beautiful program embodies.

For questions related to “Scrap Can Be Beautiful”, please contact contest and exhibit coordinators, Jane Blomberg at or Susan Gerber at

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