NAHS Launches the 4th Annual Empty Bowls Event


In 1990 Lisa Blackburn and John Hartom founded the Empty Bowls project. Hartom, an art teacher, had his students create ceramic bowls to sell and raise money for charity. Since then, the Empty Bowls has evolved into a worldwide movement, fighting hunger while celebrating artistic ingenuity and promoting community involvement.

Four years ago, Glenbard North students of the National Art Honors Society held their first Empty Bowls event. This year is much the same. Beginning preparations a month prior, members received the opportunity to explore ceramic art and make a difference in our neighborhood.

The process was simple: a mold was given to the students to construct a basic bowl. From there, they had the freedom to reshape, paint, and glaze the bowls to suit their tastes. Jerry Garcia, ’23, notes the excitement and satisfaction that always comes from waiting for the bowl to “come out of the kiln and see how it turned out.” But the bowls were only half of the task. Several students were assigned multiple tasks, divided into groups to decorate the lunchroom, contact the sponsors, and handle the PR. “It takes a lot of time and effort to make sure it all goes well,” continues Garcia. Sometimes, students even had to take time from their lunch breaks to prepare.

The actual event was held on Friday, April 22, though bidding opened on April 15. The bowls ranged from simple colored to more fun and creative designs, with several set aside from auction to be sold at 10 dollars. Elisha Tiu, ‘23, though she didn’t finish all her projects, enjoyed the overall process and remarked that her “cow bowl” was her personal favorite. Some of the bowls were part of the previous year’s ensemble, ensuring a wide variety of designs and colors. In the purchase of bowls, guests also received food and drink tickets. Sponsors, such as Jewel Osco and Chick-fil-A provided bagels, pastries, and other refreshments. NAHS members similarly handled their distribution, keeping safe with masks and gloves.

Aside from the bowls, an Open Mic portion provided an opportunity to showcase other artistic talents. Singing, dancing, and instrumental performances by students outside of NAHS helped liven the environment. In addition, the Art Department held its annual gallery showcase outside the lunchroom. The work displayed came from the drawing, painting, and graphic design classes. Portraiture to still life, the gallery is a point of pride for many.

By the time 7 pm hit, the display table was almost empty. Those bowls remaining were left over from the bidding and picked up the following week. NAHS ended the night with a whopping total of 1700 dollars to send to the Neighborhood Food Pantry, making Glenbard North’s fourth annual Empty Bowls night a success.