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Free pizza for life? Turn a pizza box into art

Over the decades, pizza takeout boxes from pizzerias nationwide have been adorned with surprisingly intricate art. Some boxes depict involved scenes showing pizza-makers at work in their kitchens, for instance; others are covered in scenes displaying everyday life in Italian villages.

Now you can bring your artistic eye to designing your own pizza box. October is Sacramento Art Month, so Pizza Rock restaurant chef-owner Tony Gemignani is sponsoring the inaugural Pizza Box Art Contest. The grand prize will be the same in two categories (age 12 and younger, and age 12 and older) — one free pizza every month for life. Runners-up will receive $100 gift certificates and more.

Here’s how it works: Drop by Pizza Rock at 1020 K St., Sacramento (916-737-5777, www.pizzarocksacramento.com) between 2 and 6 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, complete am entry form and pick up a plain pizza box. Artistically make it your own, but you must include the phrase “Respect the craft” on the front of the box “as part of the artwork.”

Return the completed box-as-art by Sept. 21. Gemignani and his fellow art-lovers will chose a grand-prize winner and four runners-up in both categories. The 10 winning boxes will be on display inside Pizza Rock throughout October. They’ll be auctioned as fund-raisers for the Mustard Seed School.

Coincidentally, Gemignani’s how-to book, “The Pizza Bible,” will go on sale Oct. 21 (Ten Speed Press, $30, 320 pages). Perhaps ironically, the book cover looks like a plain pizza box.

If you need some artistic inspiration for the contest, take a look at “Viva la Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box” by Scott Wiener (Melville House, $23, 144 pages).

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