Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 19
Empty Bowls fill belliesOrganizers of the Foodbank's annual fundraiser are seeking bowls for this year's event
BY SHELLY CONE
They may be empty, but the artfully crafted bowls featured at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s annual Empty Bowls event go a long way toward feeding the hungry. This year, however, those bowls are coming up short. Organizers need 200 to 300 more bowls by Oct. 24.
For a $25 donation, attendees get a bowl and a meal—and the money goes directly to feeding people in need. In fact, for every $1 invested with the Foodbank, as much as $17 worth of nutritious food can be distributed, and attendees will have a beautiful reminder of their contribution, said Judith Monte, development manager for the Foodbank’s North County branch.
Because of what the bowls represent, it’s important to the organizers that there’s a selection, because the dishware becomes a lasting reminder of the need to feed the hungry.
“One of the key concepts of this fundraiser event is giving everyone that attends a unique bowl of their choosing,” Monte said.
Allan Hancock College has been a large provider of bowls, and last year Righetti and St. Joseph high schools also contributed bowls to the program, as did local artists. This year, the Foodbank hopes to attract hobbyists or others who work in ceramics.
“We know there are people out there in the community that maybe do this as a hobby, and we’d like to put their skills to use out in the community and maybe expose their work to a new audience,” Monte said.
She explained that organizers also buy a certain number of bowls ready to be painted, so local painters who want to be involved are also welcome. The focus, however, remains on finding totally handmade and glazed bowls.
Artists are open to creating anything they want with the bowls, as long as the vessels are of a size to hold soup, cereal, or ice cream. Some artists like to follow a theme, such as leaves, or incorporate certain techniques, such as extruding or other nuances in the clay. One year, a painter created an elaborate Dia de Los Muertos Bowl.
“You can bet that was snapped up quick,” Monte said.
Whether intricate designs, swirls of color, or fun decorations are the draw, everyone has a unique interest in the bowls they pick, Monte said.
“We have many people who attend year after year, and they’ll have six or eight bowls,” she explained. “They’ll say they use them whenever they get ice cream or cereal. It’s interesting to hear the stories of the community members and their fondness for the bowls after the event.”
In previous years, artists have held glazing parties in which groups got together for the purpose of creating bowls and donating them.
Monte said organizers would like to have the bowls at least a week in advance of the Oct. 24 event, but would appreciate the commitment to donate bowls as soon as possible.
“We never rest until we have enough bowls to accommodate the people who are going to attend the event,” she said.
Last year, that number was approximately 850 attendees—and attendance has been steady each year. Organizers would like to have at least 1,000 bowls for this year’s event, anticipating a bit of a bigger turnout, along with the 200 to 300 more so that there’s some variety.
To donate a bowl—or several—call Judith Monte at 937-3422, Ext. 106.
Arts Editor Shelly Cone thinks she washes 200 bowls after her kids eat breakfast each morning. Contact her at email@example.com.
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