Behind the scenes of Piedmont’s Empty Bowls event

Staff Writer

Changing hunger around the world one city at a time, the Empty Bowls event is taking place on October 22, 2013 in the Swanson Center. The Navigator has decided to go behind the scenes of Empty Bowls and understand Piedmont’s involvement in the project.

The Navigator sat down with sophomore arts administration major Chance Hunter to get his perspective and hear about his part in the Empty Bowls project.

“Every bowl that we have is made by hand; none of them are bought,” said Hunter.

“It is rare if someone makes the bowl and actually paints it after. We try to get the PC 101 freshmen to come in and decorate the bowls.”

Hunter explained that every year, they try to meet the goal of 200 to 250 bowls per year.

“When Empty Bowls first started, it was not a large thing three years ago,” said Hunter.

“When Chris [Kelly] came, it all fell together and we’ve been doing it ever since.”

Hunter is referring to Chris Kelly, the head of the art department. Kelly also teaches the ceramics and sculpture and 3-D design classes at Piedmont.

Founded by Lisa Blackburn and John Hartom, who are well known for creating the non-profit organization Imagine Render, Empty Bowls is an international effort to fight hunger. Potters, craftspeople, educators and others are welcome to create handcrafted bowls for the community.

Guests are then invited to a meal of bread and soup for a cash donation and are asked to keep the bowl they picked as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.

All of the money raised is donated to an organization in working to end hunger and food insecurity.

“Being one of the people who actually makes a bowl and goes to the event, you get to interact with the people,” said Hunter.

“It’s just an in depth process that I don’t think a lot of charities share.”

Another Piedmont student has a past with the projects as he has worked with the organization at a previous institution before. Senior ceramics major Wesley Roach expressed the importance of giving.

“It was interesting as an artist because it’s not just our project, it’s the community’s project too,” said Roach.

“Turning over something I had made in a half finished state and trusting someone else to decorate it is the continual act of giving, that’s the important thing. That impressed upon me and made it more profound and humbling.”

Roach has made 35 bowls in a week so far for this semester.

“It makes me feel good because I know that I have helped the community in some way,” said Hunter.

“It’s empowering and I think that if I didn’t do it, I would try and find something like it. Every ceramicist wants to get their name out there but this is more than that.”

To find out more information about the project, readers can visit the website at