Friday, February 26, 2010

Empty Bowls Fill Stomachs and Satisfy Souls

Last Sunday we invited people to the Newmans to make bowls for the annual Empty Bowl fund raiser. More than a dozen from our church showed up to share in the project, enjoying a pot luck meal and then pitching in to share in the joy of creation.

The Empty Bowl event, coordinated each year by the Duluth Art Institute, is especially interesting in the way it gets the total community involved. Artisans and amateurs alike spend months making the bowls. Then, everyone in the area is invited to come buy a bowl of soup. The bowl goes home with you, the money goes to the needy. You end up with your tummy full, and so do those whose stomachs need filling.

While travelling I discovered that the Empty Bowl is not unique to Duluth, and is practiced in a number of other cities, each with its own history. Ours began in 1994. Local artist Dave Lynas, well known local potter and famous for his creative "gnomenclature", suggested the idea of Empty Bowl to the Duluth Art Institute. At the same time, and only miles apart, Moira Johnson brought the idea to the Duluth Public Schools. Collaboratively, the project came to life raising $9,400 in its first year as the region’s only combined arts and hunger event. It's only grown since.

And so it was that a group of folks from New Life Covenant assembled in Susie Newman's garage/pottery studio to share the experience of making bowls for this good cause. It's amazing how many different kinds of bowls there can be.
According to an article in the Duluth News Tribune community members who want to make handcrafted bowls are invited to Duluth Art Institute’s Lincoln Park Studio, 2229 W. 2nd Street, to create bowls with an art instructor. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (218) 723-1310 or emailing Shannon Cousino A maximum of 10 people will be accepted for each nightly lesson and the cost to create an Empty Bowl is $20.00 and includes a ticket to Empty Bowl.

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