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Artists' bowls draw of local fundraiser for food bank
Empty Bowl Project to take place Thursday at Rotunda
EMPTY BOWL file for Web
Michelle Klumpp, center, daughter and Georgia Southern student Kylie, left, and Georgia Southern co-worker Coco Roberts examine the ceramics offerings during the 2009 Empty Bowl event at the Rotunda on campus. The 2010 event is set for Thursday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File

Since 1990, ceramic students from the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art take part in the Empty Bowl Project, a service project in support of the Statesboro Food Bank. Led by ceramics professor Jane Pleak, the Empty Bowl Project allows students to create unique bowls and then serve lunch to the public for a $10 cash donation.

On Thursday, the annual Chili Bowl Sale will be held in the Rotunda on the Georgia Southern University campus from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Last year, in just 2 hours, the Empty Bowl Project raised $1,700 that was given to the Statesboro Food Bank.

Patrons keep the bowls as a reminder of the meal's purpose.

"We hope every time someone uses their bowl, they will be reminded that someone else's bowl is empty and by purchasing their bowl they helped to alleviate hunger," Pleak said.

The Ceramics Studio has had hands-on help in preparing for the Chili Bowl Sale - Georgia Southern President Dr. Brooks Keel and First Lady Dr. Tammie Schalue, each took a turn throwing clay on a pottery wheel to make bowls for the community fundraising project.

The last census reading stated that a third of Statesboro residents were considered at the poverty level. During its after school program, the Boys and Girls Club of Statesboro feeds 250 children, daily, to ensure they receive the nutrition they need. They also provide breakfast and lunch during the summer weeks when kids aren't at school. The Statesboro Food Bank feeds anyone in need. However, they mainly service the working poor. For every dollar donated, the Statesboro Food Bank is able to provide the equivalent of 7 meals to people in need.

"Becoming in tune with your community is very important to artists who make their living from their craft," Pleak said. "Students begin to understand they have a skill that is viable and can offer great help to those in need. While their students work continues to improve, they develop a critical knowledge of what community is and how a basic fundamental form can connect so many people in such a positive way."

The Empty Bowl Project will hold a silent auction for about three dozen one-of-a-kind ceramics pieces made by Master of Fine Art candidates, alumni and local professional artists. All proceeds also will benefit the Statesboro Food Bank. For more information on the Empty Bowl Project, contact Jane Pleak at or 912-478-7461.


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