Fill up on soup, art, with Empty Bowls event | Column

Carol Ladwig, Editor

Carol Ladwig, Editor

Artistic ability has never, literally, never had a place in my toolbox. Not drawing, not sculpting, not flower arranging. I needed patterns and paint by numbers if I was ever going to create any three-dimensional anything. So naturally, I’m drawn to art, especially anything three-dimensional.

Maybe that’s why I’ve always been such a fan of the Empty Bowls project, started some five years ago at the Helping Hand Food Bank, now the Snoqualmie Valley Food Bank. It’s a community project that demands something from, and rewards the people involved in both creation and consumption for a food bank fundraiser that involves art with both form and function.

Middle school and high school students are called on to produce the tableware, the Empty Bowls, for the meal, provided by local restaurants. In return, they get to develop their artistic ability through that creation.

Diners are called on to support the efforts of the food bank with a ticket purchase — only $15 this year, or $50 for a family of four. In, return, they get to choose their own hand-made work of art, a bowl, in which their dinner, “a simple meal of soup and bread” as food bank director Heidi Dukich put it, is served.

The program ended after the food bank split into two organizations, but Mount Si High School’s cheer squad, led by advisor Janice Wintermyer, brought it back last year, with help from district art teachers, who supplied the studios and kilns to build the bowls.

Empty Bowls is back again this year and coming up soon. The event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 8 in the Mount Si High School commons.

All the details are at, but you’ll have to go to the event yourself to see, and choose, your own piece of art.

Use it to carry home all those warm feelings from knowing you are helping out your own community with your contribution.

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