Newark Central School District’s art department will hold its annual Empty Bowls project from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 30 at Newark High School, 625 Peirson Ave.
The Empty Bowls soup and bread buffet and silent art and craft auction events at NHS have raised more than $16,000 for Newark Food Closet since 2010.
Empty Bowls is a grassroots movement that various organizations and schools, have been involved in since 1990 to help raise money to support food banks and soup kitchens throughout the nation in an effort to fight hunger.
This year’s event will be the final step in a lengthy project where many students, staff and others created ceramic bowls to help prepare for the event. The bowls cost $10 and will serve as a reminder that others may not be able to afford to put food on their table in their own bowls.
NHS art teacher Courtney Dentel oversees the fundraiser this year.
“Participating in this service learning project allows students to create art that makes a difference in the lives of many of our community members,’’ Dentel said. “What’s more, students who have previously participated in this project when they were younger have asked if we could do it again, because they loved doing it so much.”
Joanne DePauw, co-coordinator of Newark Food Closet, said that food was distributed to 1,100 households in Newark, East Palmyra and Port Gibson in 2016. Of that number, food was given to 1,639 adults ages 18-64, 163 senior citizens ages 65 and older and 1,022 children ages 17 and younger. The food closet received $17,000 in grant money and donations in 2016.
“It is really important that people in our community support this wonderful Empty Bowls event,’’ DePauw said. “The money raised for the Newark Food Closet truly helps feed the hungry and needy people in our area.”
Preparation for the Empty Bowls event involves work and students. NHS pottery and advanced pottery students will create 200 of the bowls on a wheel or by hand building, and other high school art classes will make 110 bowls. Lisa Stringer and Amanda Kessler’s Newark Middle School art students will make 100 bowls.
NHS computer graphics students will design T-shirts, event programs, posters and tickets for the event. Students from Lincoln and Perkins elementary schools will make placemats for the event.
The NHS Art Club will make 20 bowls, create silent art auction pieces and help Kelley School art teacher Amy O’Connor and Dawn Schwind, who teaches art at Perkins and Lincoln schools, host family bowl painting nights March 2 and March 8 at NHS. Dentel will host a bowl-painting party for faculty and staff during Wellness Day on March 16.
“When Joanne contacted me and asked me if we were going to do the Empty Bowls project this year, it told me how much of an impact we have made in previous years in helping such a worthy cause,’’ Dentel said.
In preparation for the last two Empty Bowls events, many community members and business owners donated money and supplies such as bottled water, Styrofoam bowls, paper coffee cups, coffee, tea, sugar, creamer, plastic spoons and napkins. Dentel is hoping there will be a similar, generous outpouring this year.
Local artists and craft makers are encouraged to donate their creations to the silent art and craft auction.
Tickets cost $10. Volunteer opportunities are available.
For information, email courtney.dentel@newarkcsd.org or visit bit.ly/2jLn17W.