Art for the Greater Good

Club Mud’s Empty Bowl Project is a Success!
The Empty Bowl Project presents their donation to the Statesboro Food Bank
Club Mud set out to raise money for the Statesboro Food Bank – and they did just that.  Georgia Southern University’s Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art (BFSDoArt) is proud to announce that Club Mud’s EmptyBowl Project raised $3,133 in just three hours during its chili bowl sale on October 20.


Since 1990, ceramicists from the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art student group, Club Mud, have hosted the Empty Bowl Project, a service-learning project in support of the Statesboro Food Bank. Lead by ceramics professor Jane Pleak, the goal of the Empty Bowl Project is to create unique bowls and then serve a simple meal to the public in exchange for a $10 donation. For every dollar donated, the Statesboro Food Bank is able to provide the equivalent of seven meals to someone in need. Therefore, one bowl sold at the Chili Bowl Sale filled 70 otherwise empty bowls.

This year’s success was fulfilling for students of the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art, but especially for Pleak as she will be retiring at the end of this year.

“Every year, I am proud our students always surface to assist and to see new students taking on large roles in the project. Students are always excited about the project and I am confident the Empty Bowl Project will continue in years to come,” Pleak says.

Empty Bowl Project's Chili Bowl SalePrior to the Chili Bowl Sale, the Empty Bowl Project invited community members to the Ceramics Studio. There volunteers had the opportunity to throwbowls on a ceramics wheel and glaze already fired bowls. This year, Georgia Southern University’s president, Dr. Brooks Keel, his wife, Dr. Tammie Schalue, and Michael Smith, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, helped kick off the project by expressing their creativity on the ceramics wheel.

BFSDoArt ceramic curriculum contains service and business components that allow students to gain skills in producing multiple editions of their product.

Pleak explains, “The Empty Bowl Project is successful because it offers students an opportunity to exchange what they create in the classroom with a larger audience for a great cause. The origins of the Empty Bowl Project were to exchange the skills in the classroom with a purpose outside of project based task: why we do what we do and how can we see ourselves as professional artists. This opportunity lets students see how their work measures up and how it can a carry purpose. Teaming up with the Statesboro Food Bank allows are students to get to know where they live, realize what great opportunities there are in Statesboro as a community.”

Dedicated to serving the public of Southeast Georgia, in addition to the university community, the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art is geared towards an interdisciplinary interpretation of art and culture as it prepares students for professional careers as practicing artists and designers, or for work in other arts-related fields requiring study in the studio arts.

View more images on Flickr! View more images from the Empty Bowl Project!



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Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art • PO Box 8032 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5358 • • (map)