Jazz music and steam float around the faculty dining room, as spoons clink against ceramic bowls and people slurp soup.

In hopes of fighting hunger through art, ceramics students participated in the empty bowls project.

“Empty Bowls is a national, grassroots organization that professional artist put together and they donate their work and have a collaborative, community dinner. All of the money that is raised from the dinner will go to fight hunger,” said Amie Larson, ceramics instructor. “The whole idea is that at the end of the dinner, your bowl is empty and the money raised will go to fill the bowls of others, so they will no longer be empty bowls.”

Larson learned about the Empty Bowls project at the National Ceramic Conference a few years ago. At first thinking that the project might be too much to take on, she decided to work the project into the curriculum starting this year.

“Last spring, when all the intensive students signed a contract, they knew that two of their first three pieces would be donated to this and that it would be a requirement to come to the banquet,” she said.

The Intensive Ceramics students involved really enjoyed participating in the banquet.

“It was really exciting to get to show my work to the greater Wellesley community and to get to see all my classmates do the same,” said Lily McRae ’17, an Intensive Ceramics student.

The banquet itself was held in the faculty dining room. A jazz trio from the band provided live music, and Roche Brother’s and Captain Marden’s donated food. The 14 intensive students helped Larson serve the soup and manage the crowd.

“The banquet itself was really great because we were able to donate to the Wellesley food pantry and at the same time have a good time with live music and good food,” said Luisa Coakley, another Intensive Ceramics student.

“Everybody stepped up…all of the intensive students totally exceeded my expectations for it,” said Larson.

Larson considers the Empty Bowls project to be a big success this year, especially considering that this was the project’s first year. “I had no idea how many people were going to come… We had a tiered ticket, so people could buy a $25 and buy soup and take home a bowl, or a $10 ticket where you could just come for the soup. I didn’t know how many bowls we were going to need. We had 58 bowls and we ended up selling out and we raised… $1370,” she said.

Larson plans to make the Empty Bowls Project an annual event at the high school. “It was super successful [this year], and I am expecting that next year it will be even bigger.”


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