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One Man's Junk Is...

Since 1978, Commercial Metals Company has hosted the annual “Scrap Can Be Beautiful” contest and exhibit. Partnering with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, located in Dallas, Texas, visual arts students create metal art sculptures out of scrap metal donated to the school from one of our local recycling yards in the Dallas area.

Each year, the artwork is judged by a professional panel 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 one year. 

Jessica Bell, artist and Visual Arts Instructor at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, oversaw the students in creating their works of art, each piece being designed, sculpted and carefully welded by the student artists.

The 2022 judging panel was comprised of: Jed Morse, Chief Curator of the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Cheryl Vogel, Curator of Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden in Dallas, along with sculptural artists George Tobolowsky and Terri Stone. Also judging were artist and curator Maria Teresa Garcia Pedroche, formerly of the Dallas Museum of Art, Gail Sachson, founder of Ask Me About Art, Inspire Art Dallas and former Chair of the Dallas Cultural Affairs Commission and Patricia Meadows who has been in the Texas art community for over 40 years who has been a state-wide juror, a curator, a co-founder of several art organizations, lecturer, and facilitator.

The judges awarded eight overall prizes this year; four in the ‘Tabletop’ category and three in the ‘Floor’ category along with a ‘Best in Show’ award for the overall body of work created by a student. Students of the winning sculptures were awarded monetary prizes by Commercial Metals Company. Each student was also given the option to enter the pieces they wished to sell into a virtual silent auction where employees are allowed to bid and purchase pieces.  

For questions related to “Scrap Can Be Beautiful”, please contact contest and exhibit coordinator Susan Gerber at

Scrap art gallery

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