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One Man's Junk Is...

2021 marks the 43rd year that Commercial Metals Company has hosted the annual “Scrap Can Be Beautiful” contest and exhibit. Since 1978, this annual exhibit has partnered with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, located in Dallas, Texas, to feature metal art sculptures created by students in a sculpture class at the school. 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.

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 2021 judging panel was comprised of: sculptural artists George Tobolowsky and Terri Stone, artist and curator Maria Teresa Garcia Pedroche, formerly of the Dallas Museum of Art. Also judging was Gail Sachson, founder of Ask Me About Art, Inspire Art Dallas and former Chair of the Dallas Cultural Affairs Commission.

The judges awarded 10 overall prizes this year; six 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 ribbons and 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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