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Marshall to host 20th Annual Empty Bowls fundraiser April 21 at Pullman Square

The Marshall University School of Art and Design will host its 20th Annual Empty Bowls pottery sale fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, April 21, in the gazebo at Pullman Square in downtown Huntington.

Bowls crafted by Marshall art students will be sold for $20 each, with proceeds going to the Facing Hunger Foodbank. Each bowl helps provide 180 meals to those in need in the food bank’s 17-county region. The Facing Hunger Foodbank organizes, packs, and distributes about 11 million pounds of food annually.

In its 20 years, the Empty Bowls fundraiser has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the food bank. The event was formerly held as a soup lunch-pottery sale fundraiser, but has been altered in the years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is amazing to be in the 20th year for this event here in Huntington, West Virginia,” said Ceramics Professor Frederick Bartolovic, the event organizer. “Empty Bowls allows students to very quickly understand how their art can make a difference to the local community.

“Our students work so hard to pull this event off, and they take so much pride in each and every creation they make. The community support behind this event is incredible and I am proud to showcase the works made by students in the School of Art & Design at Marshall University.”

It continues to provide a direct link between the arts and the community, Bartolovic said. “Every year this event demonstrates the commitment of young artists and their desire to enrich the community in which they work,” he said.

Facing Hunger Foodbank is honored to have this longstanding partnership with Marshall’s School of Art & Design, said Samantha Adams, chief development officer at the Foodbank. “It aids us in our mission to serve the 130,000 souls at the center of our work, who live with food insecurity every day,” she said.

Marshall student Hanna Davis participated in the event last year and is making bowls for the event again as part of the ART 446 Intermediate Pottery Class.

“I like Empty Bowls because it helps the community, it is very selfless and it helps get my art into people’s homes,” she said. “It is rewarding because of the feeling of being a part of something that is bigger than just my academic experience at Marshall.”

This event is sponsored by the School of Art and Design in the College of Arts and Media, as well the Pottery Place.