Recycling is art at Old Town ScrapFest
By Shauna Stocken
Arts & Entertainment Editor
ScrapFest, advertised as a decade of artistic vision, filled Turner Street in Lansing’s Old Town with art-enthused guests July 13 and 14.
Participating in this year’s event were 20 teams that constructed unique sculptures from scrap metal. The scraps had been previously gathered from Friedland Industries, Inc., in Old Town.
Surrounding the sculptures and their makers were interactive craft tables, live music, food trucks and vendors selling their artwork.
“This event is totally outside-the-box thinking,” said Noah Hales, founder of Peregrine Forge, a local business that creates handcrafted knives. “It’s so non-standardized, it’s so unique.
“I mean, you’ve got everything from knives to an 8-year-old making necklaces out of glass. You’ve got a … retired vet and (a man) who makes masks out of wasp nests. There’s such a diverse representation of ways of expressing yourself that’s intense. The energy is huge.”
Peregrine Forge is more than merely a local business that makes and sells knives. Hales is a military veteran who said he works hard to help support his fellow veterans, God and his family with the profits from his business.
Returning to ScrapFest for the fourth year in a row with a metal sculpture is Ken Wesner, who studied wielding at LCC in 2001, earning his Cum Laude associate degree.
“If you watch the movie, Narnia, there’s this pink tree, and the wind starts blowing, and all the leaves start spiraling around and they form a woman,” Wesner said. “I saw that and was like, ‘I want to make that, I want to make her out of steel.’”
Wesner’s, “Leaves in the Wind” sculpture sold for $2,200 and will be publicly displayed at the entrance to the river trail in Old Town.
Another festival returnee, 8-year-old Ian Sosnowski, came back for his second year with additional tables to sell his handmade jewelry.
Sosnowski learned about the opportunity to feature his art from his godfather, ScrapFest founder David Such.
“I just found all this wonderful stuff (while on the beach of St. Croix), and I’ve been looking for material to make necklaces,” Sosnowski said. “I kind of just knew that this was the stuff. I thought what I had found was jewels at first, until my mom told me that I had found beach glass.”
Other notable sculptures included a seahorse that doubles as a functional mailbox; a WWI Calvary Man and his horse; rabbits that run in a circle; part of a train; and “The Butterfly Effect,” a metal butterfly sculpture that earned the People’s Choice and first-place awards.