Art students at Escalante Middle School were hard at work last week painting and glazing clay bowls. Attention to detail was more important this time because their creations will be sold at the schools first Empty Bowls Benefit Dinner on Thursday night.
Part of a nationwide grass-roots movement to raise money and awareness to fight hunger, Escalantes Empty Bowls event will feature a meal of homemade soup and bread.
Handmade clay bowls also will be for sale. All proceeds will benefit Manna Soup Kitchen.
The hope, Escalante art teacher Britte Bowman said, is that the bowls people buy will be a reminder of all of the empty bowls around the world.
The dinner, which is open to anyone, is an effort to get families and students to see the school as a place of community, rather than just an academic institution, Escalante Principal Tim Arnold said.
Since Arnold proposed the idea last school year, the Empty Bowls project has gained support from teachers schoolwide, as well as artists and businesses throughout the community.
All of Bowmans art students, about 150, made bowls, and six local potters donated pieces. Their work will be for sale in a silent auction. The schools greenhouse classes will contribute potatoes and onions, and the foods classes will make an Italian soup.
Arnold said he will be making chili, and another teacher volunteered to cook a leek and potato soup. Fox Fire Farms and James Ranch will donate meat for the soups, and Bread bakery will donate bread.
The project also is a way to localize the national issue of hunger, Arnold said.
We tend to grab on to global causes and overlook stuff thats happening in our community, he said. The project allows kids to showcase their work while making an impact locally.
Incorporating community service into students education is part of the school districts strategic plan and something that is always encouraged, Superintendent Keith Owen said.
Bowman hopes the projects will teach her art students a larger lesson about giving back.
I hope they understand that art can be used as a vehicle for helping others, she said, and by giving it away, the students are helping people less fortunate.