Empty Bowls Project raises funds for food pantries

A sampling of the hand-crafted bowls to be sold at a fundraiser in Bay Ridge on Saturday. Photo courtesy Danielle Bullock

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Can an empty bowl feel a hungry person? A group of Brooklyn artists is about to find out.

The artists are teaming up to hold a unique fundraiser for food pantries in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. The fundraiser, which will take place May 4 at the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church 6753 Fourth Ave. from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., will feature approximately 100 items for sale. But these won’t be just any old items. Visitors will be able to purchase handcrafted ceramic bowls the artists have created.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to the Community Food Pantry at the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Bay Ridge and the Ecumenical Neighborhood Lunch Program at Zion Lutheran Church in Sunset Park.

“There’s probably a design for every type of buyer,” said Danielle Bullock, who is organizing the May 4 fundraiser with Ed Huml. Huml, a potter and sculptor, is president of the Brooklyn Potter’s Group and teaches the art of pottery at the Union Church of Bay Ridge. Bullock has studied with Huml.

“The artists have expressed themselves in their designs. Some of the bowls have flowers, some have faces. Some are larger and some are smaller. There are abstract designs and more realistic looks. The bowls have different textures, too,” Bullock told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The fundraiser is being held under the umbrella of the Empty Bowls Project, a grass-roots movement of artists fighting hunger in America. Empty Bowls sales have taken place in communities all across the country. The movement has now reached Brooklyn.

“It was started by a potter interested in using bowls as a metaphor,” Bullock said. The bowls stands for the fact that there are people in the US whose bowls are empty because they don’t have enough to eat, Bullock said. “A bowl is empty until you fill it,” he said.

The organizers see the event as a way to bring artists and everyday people together for a good cause, Bullock said. “It’s going to be a great community event. It’s joyful, but we’re also trying to educate the community,” she said. It makes sense that artists would be sensitive to the problem of hunger in America, she said. “Artists ask questions. It’s in their nature. Artists try to find meaning in the world,” she said.

The bowls that will be on sale at the fundraiser were created by artists at a recent arts festival, Bullock said. The organizers then glazed and fired up the bowls to put the finishing touches on them, she said.

While the purpose of the fundraiser is serious, the event will have a light-hearted tone, Bullock said.

In addition to the sale of the handcrafted bowls, the Empty Bowls fundraiser will feature activities for children. There will be music, too.  The performers will be Zafer Tawil, an oud player, Valerie Gates and James Cleveland on Irish guitar and violin, and Secretly Famous, featuring Kris Lauricella, Dave Doll and Charlie Marine.


May 3, 2013 - 9:45am



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