For many in Marion County, standing in line for a bowl of soup and a slice of bread is a common way to meet an all-too-common need—hunger. On Sunday, March 11, from 11a.m. to 3p.m., at the Knights of Columbus in Fairmont, many residents will stand in a similar line in order to raise awareness and support through an Empty Bowls event.
Fairmont State University Associate Professor of Art, Department Coordinator and Associate Dean for the School of Fine Arts, Jeff Greenham teamed up with the United Way of Marion County for the first county-wide Empty Bowls event five years ago. This year, hundreds of bowls have been created and the event hopes to have 500 people participate.
“It’s more than just me making the bowls,” said Greenham. “Dr. Crislip-Tacy (dean, school of education), Kat Stevens (retired student services counselor), and Miles Holbert (alumnus and owner of Mountain Creative) all work together to provide the bowls. We have a great team of Fairmont State falcons that come together to help alleviate hunger in our community.”
Empty Bowls is a nationwide event featuring local artists, often specializing in ceramics. These artisans create soup bowls that are given to event attendees at the conclusion of their simple soup and bread meal. All of the money raised from this year’s event goes to the Connecting Link, the Salvation Army and the Soup Opera.
Greenham has used his knowledge of pottery to work in the academic realm and with commercial studios whose chief arena is the creation of ceramic ware designed for functional use. He was recently named a master artist by the Tamarak Foundation for the Arts. In 1996, Greenham became Director of Ceramics at the Chautauqua School of Art, a part of the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y. Since 1977, Greenham has served numerous institutions as an independent consultant, often combining those duties with teaching in his discipline. He has worked in London and the Netherlands. His work has been exhibited and reviewed nationally and is in many private and corporate collections in the U.S.
Fairmont State University is proud to highlight Jeff Greenham as part of our People of Excellence series. This series aims to highlight the impactful work being done by our students, faculty, staff and alumni.