The power of an empty bowl


Helping others can be as simple as doing your homework in the Galena High School Ceramics class. One of the assignments for Mrs. Siese’s A2 and B3 Ceramics class first semester was to create two bowls per person to be given to the Galena Center for the Arts.
On January 14th the bowls were on display and could be purchased and filled up with hot soup perfect for the winter season and sold to members of the community. Money raised from this event was donated to the Galena United Churches Food Pantry.
This was done in part to raise awareness of poverty in our community and ceramics students appreciated that their assignments reached beyond the classroom.
“Sometimes homework seems like boring busy work, but it is rewarding to see how it can actually mean something besides just a grade in Teacherease.” said senior Anna Hulscher.
Finding a way to give back to the community has been a big part of Siese’s goals and hopes for the art program at Galena High School. Along with the Empty Bowl Project, the art club also participated in the ARC Festival of Trees and the Making a Monster project with the middle school.
“This Empty Bowl Project will make people more aware of GHS artists and art programs, give them an opportunity to help the Food Pantry and for the community to see how we are all interconnected in our purpose and activities.” said Mrs. Siese.
Created by two art teachers in 1990, the Empty Bowl project was designed for guests to receive a beautiful bowl made by someone in their community and a good meal. Once they were finished, they would then be reminded of all of the empty bowls in the world, including those in their community.
Normally, communities will come together in hopes of creating a fundraiser to fight food insecurity.
The Empty Bowl project is not limited to just Galena High School, as Siese has seen many different schools in the country participate through art educator magazines and various conferences. In the past, Galena High School has been able to make this dream a reality for Siese.
Partly because the class was either too small or too uninterested to perform the task. Realizing that she couldn’t do it on her own, Siese teamed up with the Galena Center for the Arts, who provided the soup and the space for this awareness event.
This year students were excited about the opportunity and created more than 80 bowls. Students in the ceramics class were required to make at least two bowls each for the project, and then Siese added ones that she made herself.
“I am excited for the opportunities to come, and our future in GHS as well is the outside community is bright. I hope that we can make a difference in and out of school.” said Siese.