Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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21st Annual Empty Bowls to Feed Community

Bowls like these will be available for purchase on Friday, April 19.
Courtesy of Marshall University
Bowls like these will be available for purchase on Friday, April 19.

The annual Empty Bowls fundraiser allows students to see the impact of their art, said Marshall’s ceramics area coordinator.

“I really hope that the students can understand how art can make a difference in their community,” professor Frederick Bartolovic said. “I think that’s something that is often times quite intangible, and this event makes the reality of art being able to benefit your community very tangible.”

The 21st annual Empty Bowls event, hosted by the School of Art and Design, will take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, April 19, at the Pullman Square Gazebo.

Each year, the School of Art and Design partners with the Facing Hunger Foodbank to produce pottery to benefit the hungry in the Tri-State area. Attendees can purchase a handmade bowl for $20, which goes toward providing 180 meals for the Facing Hunger Foodbank. Bartolovic said the event offers high quality pieces of art for a low cost.

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“I think in this day and age, where everything is going more digital, there’s more of a value put on handcrafted objects, like a handmade bowl, as opposed to something that is mass-produced,” he said.

Bartolovic went on to say, “Not only is this an opportunity to acquire a handmade piece of artwork – for $20, which is really inexpensive – but every purchase of a bowl is also an important donation to the food bank.”

The bowls for the event are made by students in Bartolovick’s sections of ART 343 and 446, Introduction to Potter’s Wheel and Intermediate Potter’s Wheel. Beginner students are required to make 20 bowls, and intermediate students are required to make 40.

Although the program typically sells 400-600 bowls, he said he aims to bring close to 1000. Lily Narraway, a junior studio art major, said she made 46 bowls this year which vary in sizes, shapes and colors. Last year, her first year participating in the event, she made 25.

Even though students are required to help with the event and volunteer with the food bank for their course grade, Narraway said she enjoys the interaction with the community.

“We get to see people’s reactions to the event and the pottery we have made, which is very rewarding,” she said. “They are often very excited to see our bowls and happy about what we are doing to help the community.” Bartolovic said it is equally rewarding to see students’ reactions to the event. “I mean, their faces just light up when they see somebody pick up their bowl and look at their bowl and purchase their bowl,” he said.

Narraway’s hope is for attendees to appreciate students’ dedication to the event and the importance of the fundraiser. “I hope that they can understand how much love and care went into each bowl and how much each bowl helps since each bowl, or $20, provides 180 meals for the hungry.”

Local schools, potters and businesses donate bowls to the event, as well.

“Our bowls come from a vast number of places, and I think it’s important that our community knows that,” Bartolovic said.

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