Art community rallies behind food bank

Local potters will unite for a good cause April 15. Huntington’s 13th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser will feature ceramic bowls handcrafted from community ceramic artists, Marshall University art majors and contributions from the Huntington Museum of Art. From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., patrons are encouraged to browse the estimated 1000 pieces, on sale for $15 each.

Benefitting the Facing Hunger Foodbank, the event also includes a light meal with each purchase of a bowl.

“Statistically, one dollar equals six meals, so $15 per bowl could translate to 90 meals each,” said junior ceramics major Kelsie Tyson. “When you buy a bowl, we include soup and a breadstick. There are plenty of people who come every year and have a shelf-full of their collected bowls.”

As far as the care and effort put into the items, Tyson said crafting the bowls is equally time-consuming as it is rewarding.

“Ceramics in general is a very long process,” Tyson said. “After sculpting the bowl, you have to let it dry and trim the bottoms, then put in a kiln which can take up to 10 hours. The cool-down can take an additional 10 hours and then you glaze it and fire it again for another 20-hour process. Even if you’re experienced, it can take about four days to complete a single bowl.”

Currently sitting at an estimated 700 bowls, the total number should reach the thousands by the time of the event.

A collaboration between Marshall University, the Keramos Potter’s Guild, the Huntington Museum of Art, Christian Associates, B’nai Sholom Congregation, Coca-Cola Inc. and several independent and business donations, Huntington Empty Bowls will be held in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church.

Lukas Hagley can be contacted at [email protected].