On Centre | Around Bellefonte: High school art students fired up for ‘Empty Bowls’ charity dinner

Chef and TV personality Martin Yan once said, “When you have a good stock, you can make a good soup.”

Such is the stock of the Bellefonte Area High School art club.

Still in its infancy, the club is already taking on its first charity event — an Empty Bowls dinner to be held at the school cafeteria.

Heading the club is fine arts teacher Heather Fry, who said the event is a “really good opportunity for the kids to start a growing art community at the high school and to spend time creating with each other and reaching the community with the arts.”

The club began as open studio time after school, Fry said, and a chance for students to just get together and create. Soon, the students wanted to do more, which required fundraising, something the group couldn’t do unless it was an official club.

Students stepped up to leadership positions and the club was formed, she said. While discussing possible fundraisers, the talk turned to charity. Rather than raise money for themselves as their first event, they decided to do it for the community.

“It was very cool to see them not really care about funds for the club,” Fry said.

“Not that we don’t need them.”

The students were very excited about donating their time and creativity, she said, and got energetic about helping the community. They decided to make a donation to FaithCentre, since supplies would likely be exhausted after the holidays.

Empty Bowls is an “international grass-roots effort to fight hunger” headed by community artists and art organizations.

Art club students are crafting handmade bowls to be sold as part of the dinner.

For $15, Fry said, visitors will receive a dinner of soup, bread, drinks and dessert. At the end, they can take their bowl home as a memento of the support they showed the community.

The bowls are microwave and dishwasher safe, she said. Several local restaurants have already agreed to provide food, including Panera Bread, Olive Garden and the Allen Street Grill. More are on the way, she said.

The goal is to sell 200 bowls, she said. It takes about 10 days to create a bowl, between sculpting, drying, firing, glazing and firing again.

School district cafeteria workers are also donating their time, she said.

A silent auction for additional bowls is slated, as well as a raffle for gift cards for the participating restaurants.

Bowls will be presold until around March 11, she said, to make sure enough can be made.

“Everyone’s really excited about it,” Fry said.

“There’s a lot of work going into it.”