Sponsored by the United Way of Marion County, an event on Sunday, April 19, will support the Sobrania Soup Opera, Mannington Food Pantry and the Salvation Army, providing needed nourishment for county residents. Empty Bowls Marion County also feeds the creative spirit of local potters.
The idea of the Empty Bowls event began in 1991 in Michigan as a way to raise funds to feed the hungry, increase awareness of hunger-related issues and advocate for arts education. There are more than 1,000 annual events worldwide. People buy tickets for the event, where they receive a meal and a hand-crafted bowl to keep and to remind them of the hungry in their community.
The Fairmont State University Department of Ceramics worked with two Fairmont State alumni to provide about 500 handcrafted bowls for the event. Jeffrey Greenham, Art Department Coordinator and Associate Professor of Art, coordinated the effort at FSU. Two of his former students, Miles Holbert, owner of Mountain Creative in Fairmont, and Liz Urse, an art teacher at East Dale Elementary School, partnered with their alma mater to make and share bowls for the event. At his pottery painting business in Fairmont, Holbert sold bowls that people could glaze and donate to the event.
The following artists at FSU contributed to the effort: Drew Clutter, Catlin Clutter, Kat Stevens, Jamie Howes, Angel Hickmen, Hannah Lenhart, Elise Lupo, Olivia Lupo, Bridgitte Satterfield, Josh Roark, Lila Rocovich, Angie Harbert, Kylie Ford, Jennifer Yerdon-LeJuene, Charles “Nick” LeJuene, Janet Snyder, Liz Urse, Dr. Carolyn Crislip-Tacy and Greenham.
“It’s fun on our end to all get together for a good cause and create,” Greenham said.
Empty Bowls Marion County will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 19, in two locations: Blackshere Elementary School in Mannington and the Knights of Columbus in Fairmont. Tickets are $15 for adults; the price includes a handcrafted bowl to keep and a meal. Tickets are $5 for children at the door, and that price does not include a bowl. Tickets can be purchased at the Sobrania Soup Opera, Mannington Food Pantry, Salvation Army, Connecting Link, Mountain Creative, United Way of Marion County and the Council of Churches. For more information, call (304) 366-4550.