SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Mass amounts of clay were thrown and spun into works of art as 12 potters participated in the South County Art Association’s (SCAA) annual Summer Bowlathon Saturday. SCAA will be donating a total of 134 bowls to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank for their annual Empty Bowls event on Thursday, Oct. 17.
Some version of the Bowlathon has been held at SCAA for nearly four decades. With skilled potters who are each able to create multiple bowls during the all-day open studio event, the cumulative efforts over the years has undoubtedly made an impact on hunger and the surrounding communities. All the bowls are glazed in beautiful colors and stamped with the SCAA logo and the Empty Bowls logo.
Kathleen Carland, executive director of SCAA, stated that this event has been a “steady force for good that we’ve done for years and years. We want people to know that they can really support the food bank and people without food security by participating in events like this.”
She continued, noting, “We want to feel like we’re a part of a community of people who care about other people. Today I think it is so important for us to demonstrate that and this gives the artists an opportunity to really express their love and care for their community through these beautiful bowls.”
Last year, the Empty Bowls event raised over $117,000, which helps the food bank in their service to 53,000 Rhode Islanders in need of food assistance each month. Every year they need 1,000 bowls for this event. The bowls donated are given to attendees of the fundraiser after they’ve dined on food from around 40 local restaurant vendors. The bowls serve as a reminder of giving back to the community and helping those in need. “The Empty Bowls event could not happen without the generosity of the artists,” said Kelly Seigh, volunteer and special events manager at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
The food bank receives bowl donations from 4-5 large studios who hold bowl throwing events with their members, many high school art teachers work with their students to create bowls along with several individual artists who donate each year. Nearly 100 artists contribute to Empty Bowls yearly. “We forget how generous people can be with their talent until we ask. Just by asking there is an overflowing bounty of possibilities that have emerged,” said Carland.
To express this love for community, additional information on the upcoming Empty Bowls event can be found on the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s website, rifoodbank.org/emptybowls.