Heather Mae Erickson and students in her advanced ceramics class, along with student members of the Mudcat Club – WCU’s ceramics club – created 100 handmade bowls for the Empty Bowl event Friday, April 22, benefiting The Community Table in Sylva.
“That’s about double what we donated last year,” said Erickson, assistant professor of ceramics and coordinator of the program. “The students took part in community scholarship by helping to set up, run and engage with the guests about ceramics, bowls and WCU.”
Students involved in the effort said that they also benefited from their participation.
“As an intro ceramics student who has an interest in the field, it was really cool to see not only how many potters participated, but how they also came together for such a charitable event,” said Laura Casas, a student taking the introductory ceramics course.
Suzanne Rose, a master’s of education candidate and 2015 WCU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in fine art, said she had donated bowls through the WCU Ceramics department for three years. “But this was the first year I was able to attend the event,” Rose said. “Despite the rainy weather, it was exciting to see how many people in the community came out to support The Community Table. I had a great time volunteering with some of my fellow classmates and ceramicists while interacting with the community, restocking the bowls, and even helping a few people make the tough decision of which bowl to take home. I look forward to attending next year.”
Another student, BFA candidate Kimberly Fansler, said she appreciated seeing all parties benefit from the event. “Participating in the annual Empty Bowl fundraiser has been a great opportunity for me to contribute to our community in a creative way. I think it’s great that, with this event, people get to take home a piece of handcrafted art and at the same time are giving to those in need,” Fansler said.
Attendees paid $20 at the door to receive their choice of a handmade bowl made by local potters, as well as enjoy soups and desserts while listening to live music at the event.
All proceeds benefited The Community Table’s mission to provide nutritious meals to neighbors in need in a welcoming environment. To learn more about the organization, see its website at http://www.communitytable.org/index.htm.
For more information about the club, class, program or WCU’s participation in the event, contact Erickson at 828-227-3595 or by email at email@example.com.