Team members assemble for the Annual Old Town Scrapfest

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Victoria Bowles

Old Town Lansing Staff Writer

Team members assemble for the annual Old Town Scrapfest

OLD TOWN LANSING — The Old Town Commercial Association is accepting team applications for those willing to transform 500 pounds of scrap metal into a work of art.

A Scrapfest sculpture outside of Friedland Industries. (photo by Victoria Bowles)

A Scrapfest sculpture outside of Friedland Industries. (photo by Victoria Bowles)

The Old Town Scrapfest will begin on May 31, and after collecting 500 pounds of scrap metal, teams will have two weeks to complete their sculpture, said Louise Gradwohl executive director of the Old Town Commercial Association.

David Such, the creator of Old Town’s Scrapfest who has a passion for art, said his brother who made art form scrap helped inspire him.

I had an older brother who made art from scrap, Such said, I thought Scrapfest would be a great opportunity for Old Town to make some art.

The Business of Scrap

David Such approached us and asked if we would be willing to sponsor the event, and it was a great opportunity, said Michael Bass of Friedland Industries.

Friedland Industries is a recycling and document destruction business in Old Town.

David Such approached us and asked if we would be willing to sponsor the event, and it was a great opportunity, said Michael Bass of Friedland Industries.

“When people see a scrapyard they picture the Sopranos or Breaking Bad, not recycling,” Bass said.

Friedland Industries has a unique role in the recycling process, making it the perfect place for Scrapfest participants to come and collect their materials.

Our role is to process materials and sell them to companies who will use them to make new products, Bass said.

“Fifteen to 20 teams will get an hour to take things out of the plant,” Bass said, “It ends up costing us around $25 thousand to $30 thousand per year, and we buy back some of the art to display on the property.”

Bass also said they have six or seven sculptures, and the scrapyard looks like a place people could come and visit. Scrapfest is a way for us to get publicity.

Although Friedland Industries provides the materials for the event, it is not the only one who benefits.

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A Scrapfest sculpture outside of Friedland Industries. (photo by Victoria Bowles)

The Money In Scrap

The sculptures are auctioned after being displayed at the festival of the sun and moon, Gradwohl said, 60 percent of the auction money raised goes to the Old Town Commercial Association and 40 percent to the artists.

There are also cash prizes for first, second and third place, Gradwohl said.

“I learned a lot about scrap metal and welding,” said Racha Kardahji, a Scrapfest participant who competes with team Redhead. “I say do it and don’t take it seriously. It all comes together in the end, so enjoy the experience.”

Last year, team Redhead allowed the community to take part in building its sculpture.

“We welded ourselves but allowed for people to add input,” said Kardahji, “I hope we deliver like we did last year.”

For more information contact Victoria Bowles, bowlesvi@gmail.com,

(810) 429-1079

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