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Sacramento artist creates ceramic bowls to feed the hungry

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Posted: Saturday, July 13, 2013 4:57 pm

Sacramento artist creates ceramic bowls to help those in need

By Sara Jane Pohlman/News-Sentinel Staff Writer

One thousand bowls. Some are large enough to hold an entire meal. But instead of one meal, artist Chris Thompson hopes to provide thousands for the hungry in Sacramento.

The artist held a showing of about 50 bowls at McKinleys Frame Shop on Pine Street on July 5. The proceeds all go to feed the hungry through Meals on Wheels, Senior Gleaners and Loaves and Fishes.

Thompson’s goal with the project was to create 1,000 ceramic bowls, then find others artists to glaze and personalize them before taking them out to the community for sales. More than 500 of the bowls were made in collaboration with another artist.

He was inspired by the first round of critiques for his Master of Fine Arts degree at California State University, Stanislaus.

“The review suggested I (should) display more focus, choose a form and perfect it, and come up with something that was bigger than myself,” he said in a released statement. “I knew I wanted to give back to my community and provide other artists and the galleries an opportunity to be a part of my art.”

Thompson spent time in meditation, away from outside influences, to really think. His show, “1,000 Bowls to Feed the Hungry,” was the result.

The project took 6,000 pounds of clay and about a year to throw and fire all the bowls.

A dozen art galleries in the greater Sacramento area are participating to show the bowls, hold glazing sessions and raise money for the cause. Thompson will only be reimbursed for the cost of clay, and the galleries will retain a fraction of their expenses.

Thompson estimates that every dollar donated generates about $8 worth of food, so a $50, $75, or $100 bowl can go a long way.

“Most of us care about our fellow man,” Thompson said. “It hurts when we see the suffering of the homeless and hungry, but we feel powerless and become frustrated by our powerlessness to do much to help.”

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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