ARTica participates in international Empty Bowls Project


Annabel Edwards/Daily Senior Staffer

Community members create bowls in ARTica on Friday to support hunger-fighting organizations. This is the first year Northwestern is a part of the international Empty Bowls Project.

Annie Bruce, Reporter

Members of the Northwestern community gathered in ARTica Studios on Friday to make bowls in an effort to support hunger fighting organizations.

Friday’s event was the second of three three-hour sessions in which individuals have the opportunity to make bowls by hand or on the pottery wheel for the Empty Bowls Project, culminating in an event June 3, when the bowls will be sold and the money given to local organizations fighting hunger.

The Empty Bowls Project is an international organization focused on fighting against hunger, with this year marking the first time NU has participated in an Empty Bowls event.

Wendy Miller, the artist in residence at ARTica, said she has tried to bring Empty Bowls to NU for several years. Communication sophomore Bria Royal, a supervisor at ARTica, was the first student to express interest in taking on the project, Miller said.

“It’s a really nice way for potters to do something they love and contribute to the community,” Miller said.

Royal said she became interested in the project because it gives people a chance to give back on campus.

“One thing I felt we were lacking in ARTica, and I guess just in Norris in general, is more philanthropic work,” she said. “I just wanted to find an opportunity to bring that to Northwestern, through ARTica specifically.”

Royal said the project gives students the opportunity to combine service and art.

“(It’s for) students who just want a way to express themselves and still be helping for a bigger cause at the same time,” she said.

Evanston Township High School has participated in the project for years, and Royal and Miller attended an ETHS event earlier this academic year to get ideas for NU’s own version.

Royal and Miller set a goal of 100 bowls to be completed this year but hope to expand the event next year.

Royal said she is confident the organization will meet its goal. Last week, about 12 people participated with 20 bowls completed by the end of the night.

At the June 3 event, which will be held in Norris University Center, attendees can make a donation to buy a bowl, pick one up and then fill the bowls with soup. Royal said the money from the event will go to a local food pantry or organizations such as soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

She added herself and Miller will assess the need of local pantries, kitchens and shelters to decide where to donate the money.

Miller said the spring and summer are an especially important time to give money to hunger-fighting organizations.

“One of the things we learned was that summertime is actually a time of great need for hunger-fighting organizations,” she said. “People are always very giving around Christmas and Thanksgiving, and then they kind of forget about it in the summer.”

Lindsey Madison, a graduate student in chemistry, said she has taken pottery classes at ARTica for about four years. Following the Empty Bowls event, she said it provides an opportunity for community-building and service.

“It’s a really great way to give back to the community that’s fun,” she said. “It’s nice to think my pottery can go to serve a much better cause and help feed people.”

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