Following months of preparation, Marshall University’s 14th annual Empty Bowls will begin when the doors of the First Presbyterian Church in Huntington open at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 28.
A regional favorite, the partnership of art and goodwill exists to feed Tri-State families in need through donations to Facing Hunger Foodbank. Marshall students and volunteers with Huntington Museum of Art and across the region throw, fire and glaze ceramic bowls to be purchased at the four-hour event. Bowls are $15 each and include a modest meal of soup and bread. The nourishment serves as a reminder of the small portions one might see at a soup kitchen.
Frederick Bartolovic, associate professor of art at Marshall, said a record number of volunteers showed up to throw bowls on the open studio day, which was sponsored by the university’s clay organization, Keramos Clay Club.
“It was by far the best attendance we have ever had, and there were over 250 bowls produced that day by well over 40 visitors here in the ceramics studio,” Bartolovic said.
While many volunteers support the cause, it is Bartolovic’s ART 343 class that produces the majority of the bowls for the day’s event. This year, he said he anticipates they will have contributed 350 bowls. In addition to their time behind the wheel, students in the pottery class also take time out to volunteer at the foodbank for a day during the semester. It’s an enlightening experience, Bartolovic said.
“Though they always have a lot of anticipation/anxiety prior to volunteering, they always come back really excited about what a difference they made in such a short time,” he said.
ART 343 students include Jessica Ashworth, Leah Bartlett, Adriana Carpenter, Grayson Collins, Chad Floyd, Emily Hatfield, Rachael Reneau, Kristina Rich, Joseph Schwartz, Samantha Skinner, Blake Stephens, Victoria Stingo, Heather Taylor and Caitlin Thomas.
The event on Friday, April 28 at 1015 5th Avenue will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. only. Last year’s Empty Bowls raised $17,000 for Facing Hunger Foodbank.
Photos: (Above) Volunteers at Marshall University’s Art Warehouse threw a record number of bowls for an Open Studio Day Feb. 25. All of the bowls produced that day were trimmed and glazed by Nathan Ditzler, the studio technician; and Ronnie Dickerson and Kelsie Tyson, the two work-study students in ceramics. (Below) Thrown bowls are lined on the shelf before the firing and glazing processes take place.