Make a bowl and make a difference

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Most people do not have the resources on hand to be artistic. I personally do not have the creativity or skill it takes to "use what you've got." I can't turn a sheet into a purse or paint a mural on a wall, and even if I did, it would make a mess and I wouldn't want to ruin anything.

The best way for people like that (read: me) to stimulate creative talents and try our hand at art is to do it at someone else's place.

The time has come again where the volunteers with Empty Bowls have reached about half their goal and have gotten tired of making, painting and firing all the bowls themselves. They have nearly 400 bowls and need 700 to reach their goal. And they need help.

Empty Bowls is a national not-for-profit organization that raises money to fund local food banks by selling a small meal and giving away a handmade bowl with every ticket. For your ticket you get soup, bread and a bowl of your choosing.

The program, which started in Michigan, has been flourishing in Cape Girardeau for four years. In 2008, a second mealtime was added to accommodate more people. Each year local artists spend time making pottery for other people. Students in the nutrition program at Southeast Missouri State University plan and prepare the dinner, scheduled for Nov. 8 this year.

If you're like me, the only display space your "art" has earned is the fridge or a shelf in the garage/basement. This is your chance to take part in art and have your bowl in a seat of honor next to community artists who normally sell their work for much more than a $10 meal ticket. No one will know, of course, because the bowls get an anonymous stamp on the bottom as a signature. But you'll know. And you can be proud that you helped the cause. You might just be able to find your bowl and buy it.

The Garden Gallery will be open and welcoming help for three scheduled times: 1 to 3 p.m. today and Saturday, and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. And Linda Bohnsack at Garden Gallery cheerfully waves in anyone who calls to help at other times. Creative Ewe Pottery on Independence Street also hosts budding potters who want to help.

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