School of Art and Design Students, Faculty, and Alumni Throw for a Cause

 Empty Bowls Recipients
Patrons may choose their bowls during Empty Bowls Project. 

150 bowls thrown, glazed, and fired for 2019 Empty Bowls Project

KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct 29, 2019) — For the 12th annual Homelessness Awareness Week (HAW), Kennesaw State University’s (KSU) CARE Services partnered with the School of Art and Design (SOAAD) and University Dining to bring the Empty Bowls Project back for its third year as part of the HAW lineup. This event will raise money to help KSU CARE services fight hunger, raise awareness about the issues of food insecurity, and to help bring about an attitude that will not allow hunger to exist.

Led by Associate Professors of Art Jeff Campana and Keith Smith, KSU Mudslingers Ceramics club members, along with other students, faculty, and alumni, joined a “throw-a-thon” during the SOAAD Open House on October 24, 2019. Participants threw, glazed, and fired 75 bowls for the Empty Bowls Project. Campana also assigned this project to his wheelthrowing class, where students created two bowls each, bringing in another 50 bowls for the event. Campana also made an additional 25 on his own to bring the total amount of bowls for the event to 150.

“In addition to the charitable cause,” says Campana, “there is a valuable experience for students to make work and put it in the public realm. They had the opportunity to fire in all of the varieties that our studio can offer, that were suitable for the function.”

While some experienced pottery students participated, other artists had only done sculptural work, so it gave those students a chance to try something outside of their expertise. Other benefits included working together as a group, learning how to meet deadlines, and even how to calculate “survival” rates.

Campana explained, “Not every bowl that we make survives; some have glaze problems or cracks in drying, so the group planned on roughly 15% not being up to standards. This project gave them a chance to experience more of the professionalism side than would be normally seen in just a class project.”

Empty Bowls Project will offer each attendee the first-come, first-serve choice of one of the 150 handcrafted bowls and then they will be served vegan soup, made from local produce selected by seasonal abundance, in the bowl they selected. While enjoying soup, they will hear from guest speakers on art, sustainability, and food insecurity. Speakers will include a student representative of CARE Services as well as representatives from Forerunner Foods, University Dining, the Office of Sustainability, and SOAAD. Attendees will be able to keep their bowl, and all proceeds from this event will go directly to CARE Services.

“The purpose of this event,” says another organizer of this event, Kim Henghold, of the Office of Community Engagement, “is two-fold: creating awareness around food insecurity and homelessness and creating a fundraising opportunity for CARE Services. It is such a unique event because the attendees are able to learn, feel good about their donation, and walk away with a beautiful piece of art that we hope reminds the participants of the issues presented.”

--Lauren Richmond