FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Pam Prosise, Outreach Coordinator, Willamette Art Center
Phone: 503-365-3911 Email: Outreach@WillametteArtCenter.com
Gratitude Overflows for Empty Bowls Volunteers and Sponsors
Saturday, February 9, 2019Special Presentation at 1:30, Clay-a-Thon: 1:00 – 4:00
This Saturday at 1:30, the potters at Willamette Art Center at the Marion County Fairgrounds will pause during their regular monthly Clay-a-Thon event to honor each other and to thank a long-term Empty Bowls sponsor.
Empty Bowls is Willamette Art Center’s annual November charity sale on the weekend before Thanksgiving, when WAC sells about 1,200 hand- thrown and painted bowls and kiln-fired works of art, all donated as a benefit for Marion-Polk Food Share, helping fill “Empty Bowls” in our community. WAC’s volunteer potters work year round at Saturday “Clay-a-Thon” events to create some 1200 bowls and other pieces sold to the public. Thanks to its talented volunteer potters, WAC has raised about $200,000 over the last 12 years for the Marion-Polk Food Share.
This month starts a series of recognition events for three long-time sponsors who underwrite Empty Bowls each year. This first event will recognize local consumer attorney John Gear of John Gear Law Office. WAC will thank Gear for his support since 2013 by presenting him with a one-of-a-kind hand-crafted chess set by WAC artists and founding members Greg and Margarethe Gregg. The Greggs, who are known for their whimsical and delicate creations, designed and created this unique set together, throwing and then hand-sculpting each of the 32 intricate pieces. Local craftsman Marc Vickery then created a beautiful inlaid wood board box that includes felted storage for the chess pieces.
Gear says he gives to Empty Bowls because it multiplies the value of his gifts many times over because his gifts -- $9,000 since 2013 – pay for buying clay and glazes and for kiln-firing the work of gifted artists like the Greggs and Vickery. “The volunteers at WAC use their amazing talents to leverage my gifts, so they raise far more money for the Food Share than I could ever give.”
In coming months, WAC will recognize two other Empty Bowls sponsors, Salem Electric, sponsor since 2011, and The Grand Hotel, since 2012.
Empty Bowls began at WAC in 2006. In 2018, ten local potters were honored for having created or hand-painted at least 100 bowls. Many of these same volunteers have been donating their time and talents to Empty Bowls at WAC since it began. These include WAC members Jim Ransom, Jeannette Johnson, Jim Johnson, Ben Reese, Pam Baldwin, Karen Hackney, Gordy Minten, and Judy Murray, and local pro potter Cheri Posedel of Mud Pie Pottery. WAC invites skilled potters to join each monthly Clay-a-Thon event to fill the shelves for Empty Bowls, with tools, clay, wheels and glazes provided by WAC. In 2019, WAC potters creating for Empty Bowls will expand beyond bowls, creating additional functional food-safe pieces and further emphasizing bright hand-painted glazes
The next Clay-a-Thon will be Saturday, March 16 from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.
Anyone interested in joining Salem Electric, The Grand Hotel, and John Gear Law Office as Empty Bowls sponsors should contact WAC Outreach Coordinator Pam Prosise at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 503-365-3911.
John Gear is a Salem attorney in solo practice