Art raises hunger awareness

(01-10-2012)

Article by Mariah Pepe

empty bowls project image

Mary McDonald shows off the bowls made by the Standley Lake High School students to raise money for hunger awareness.


Accompanying a jiving band, Adams State College Teacher Education student Mary McDonald sold brilliant ceramics to gather funds for those in need of a meal.

McDonald wrapped up her student teaching position in December, graduating with an art and art education double major. She currently teaches photography, digital photography, and ceramics at Chatfield High School. Previously, she taught art on the first through sixth grade levels at Betty Adams Elementary and West Woods Elementary.

McDonald and her students collaborated with Standley Lake High School in order to host an event similar to an Empty Bowls event.

Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger. Basically, potters, craftspeople, and educators work with the community to create handcrafted bowls. They invite the community to a simple meal in exchange for donations to organizations that fight hunger. The handmade ceramic bowls remind people of the hunger that plagues the world, but McDonald and her fellow educators decided to give the event a twist.

On November 15, 2011, they held a band and orchestra concert and sold bowls and other ceramic works. The money raised was donated to the local Arvada Food Bank.

McDonald's class made Grouper Fish Bowls because she thought the community would like to see something new compared to the Autumn-themed pieces that are usually produced that time of year. She was inspired from an art website she uses when planning activities for her classes called deepspacesparkle.com. All of her bowls were sold; her classes alone raised $340.

It was a great way for McDonald to use her position as an art educator to spread awareness of an imminent global issue, especially while poverty is so prominent.

McDonald says she plans to continue participating in this event in the future because "it's a fabulous way to get the students, parents, other teachers, administrators, and the community involved in art making."