close
close
Skip to content

Unique art project to raise money for the local food bank

The Port Austin Artist in Residence Program (PAAiR) hosts an initiative called Empty Bowls to raise money for those in need of food assistance.  (Courtesy of photo)The Port Austin Artist in Residence Program (PAAiR) hosts an initiative called Empty Bowls to raise money for those in need of food assistance.  (Courtesy of photo)

The Port Austin Artist in Residence Program (PAAiR) hosts an initiative called Empty Bowls to raise money for those in need of food assistance. (Courtesy of photo)

PORT AUSTIN – A unique art project has been organized that will take place in Port Austin to raise money for people in need of food assistance.

The Port Austin Artist in Residence Program (PAAiR) has teamed up with a few Michigan artists, local businesses and nonprofits to bring a project called Empty Bowls to the area.

Empty Bowls is an international project to fight hunger, personalized by artists and community-based arts organizations. The money raised during an event is then donated to soup kitchens, food banks and other organizations working to combat hunger locally.

Each community’s events are independent of each other.

As part of the project, Detroit ceramic artists Ani Garabedian and Byron Nemela will arrive in Port Austin on May 6 to begin creating 75 soup bowls at the Bee Barn, located at 20 Washington Street, in Port Austin.

Together they will create a line of handmade soup bowls, which will then be available for purchase at the Port Austin Farmers Market on May 18 and 25. The bowls will sell for $20 each, with a potential fundraising goal of $1,500.

(Courtesy of photo)(Courtesy of photo)

(Courtesy of photo)

All proceeds from the bowls will be donated to the Kinde-Filion-Port Austin Area Food Pantry to help those in the community who are food insecure.

“It’s something unique,” ​​says Stephanie Anderson, secretary of PAAiR.

Anderson added, “I think the bowl is a little bit symbolic in that way.”

However, the event isn’t over just yet after a generous purchase at the farmers market.

Anderson said customers who purchase a bowl are invited to join Bee Barn organizers beginning May 25 at 11:30 a.m. for an event where community volunteers will donate crock pots filled with their favorite soup recipes. To-go containers will also be available for those who want to keep their soup bowls clean.

Anderson explained that the event is also unique because many of their events are used to fund the Bee Barn and the various artists and programs it hosts throughout the year.

“This is nothing like that. This is to support those in need in the community,” she said.

PAAiR Vice President Cindy Patrick met Garabedian and Nemela when she previously worked at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The two artists were in Port Austin last fall when they did some demonstrations at the Bee Barn and thought it might be a good idea to use their artistic skills and raise some money for the area at the same time, through the Empty Bowls initiative.

“This was their idea and we kind of went with it,” Anderson said.

In addition to Empty Bowls, PAAiR has a slew of events planned throughout the summer and early fall. For more information, visit portaustinair.org.

“We look forward to seeing you as we kick off the season of art and artists,” Anderson said. “Please feel free to drop by to talk to our board members and volunteers about our program and of course take a look at the ceramic bowls!”