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Community invited to participate in Empty Bowl Project

Georgia Southern University First Lady Dr. Tammie Schalue and President Dr. Brooks Keel throw bowls during Empty Bowl Project's Open Studios in 2011.

Georgia Southern University’s annual Empty Bowl Project Chili Bowl Sale will be held on campus under the Fielding S. Russell Union Rotunda on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. For $10, patrons can buy homemade chili donated by Georgia Southern Catering Services and keep the handmade ceramic bowl as a reminder of the meal’s purpose. 

“This project is solely about feeding the hungry,” emphasized Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art ceramics Professor Jeff Schmuki. “These bowls should serve as a reminder that there is always someone right here in our community that is in need.”

For those interested in participating in the Empty Bowl Project, the Ceramics Studio will be open to the public on Thursday, Oct. 11, and Friday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Visitors can throw bowls on ceramics wheels and help glaze and decorate bowls that will be sold at the Chili Bowl Sale. Last year, the Empty Bowl Project raised $3,133 in proceeds that were given to the Statesboro Food Bank. For every dollar donated, the Statesboro Food Bank is able to provide the equivalent of seven meals to someone in need.

According to 2010 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one-third of Statesboro residents live at or below poverty level. The Statesboro Food Bank feeds anyone in need, however, they mainly service the working poor. During its afterschool program, The Boys and Girls Club of Statesboro, with help of the Statesboro Food Bank, feeds 250 underprivileged children to ensure they are getting the nutrition they need. The organizations also provide breakfast and lunch during the summer when kids are not in school.

Ceramics curriculum at Georgia Southern contains service and business components that allow students to gain skills in producing multiple editions of their products.

“I want my classroom to be a melding of art, science and the community,” said Schmuki. “It is important to invite the public to be a part of the Arts, as well as assist the community in any way we can.” 

This year’s Empty Bowl Project and Chili Bowl Sale are sponsored in part by Georgia Southern Catering Services and the Bulloch County Lions Club.

Dedicated to serving the public of Southeast Georgia and the University community, the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art is geared toward 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. Since 1990, ceramic students from the Department of Art have hosted the Empty Bowl Project, a service project in support of the Statesboro Food Bank. Lead by ceramics Professor Jeff Schmuki, the goal of the Empty Bowl Project is to create unique bowls and serve a simple meal in exchange for a $10 cash donation.

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