BIDDEFORD – Teams of architects, contractors, designers and engineers have gathered at various storefronts this morning to construct sculptures out of cans.

Each team has until 8 p.m. tonight to finish their sculpture as part of the Canstruction competition. This is the first Maine event as part of the international charitable competition, which showcases the teams’ talents through the sculptures.

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Today’s event has been organized by local arts nonprofit organization Engine, partnering with the Maine chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Shaw’s Supermarkets is the lead sponsor of the event. Cans used in the sculptures will later be donated to Friends of Community Action’s 30-year-old food pantry.

“This project pairs art and design with social consciousness, and is exactly the type of event we like to promote alongside more traditional art and design events in Biddeford,” said Engine Executive Director Tammy Ackerman.

Five teams started their work at 8 a.m. this morning. Sculptures are being set up in North Dam Mill, 25 Alfred St. and 311 Main St. The finished products will be on display through next week, allowing the public to have the opportunity to view them and vote for “People’s Choice.” Winners will be announced during an awards ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday at 265 Main St., which can be attended for the donation of at least one nonperishable food item.

Winners of the local contest will go on to compete in the international competition.

For more information about Canstruction, visit www.canstruction.org.