HBMS Empty Bowls donates to food pantry

The music and art departments of Hollis Brookline Middle School presented a spring art showcase May 21. The school band performed, under the direction of music teacher William Hinkle, and several students were given awards for South Central District Honor Chorus and Honor Band. Colorful artwork was hung around the gym and strung across rows set up in the middle, including pencil sketches, paintings, portraits and flowers.

Around the perimeter of the room, there were tables of colorful ceramic bowls. Each year, the art department sponsors an Empty Bowls fundraiser, a national program to fight hunger. Students create bowls which are painted and fired in a kiln. Bowls are sold for $10, and perfect for eating ice cream, which was donated by Hersheys.

For eighth-graders, the show is a familiar, fun event because they’ve participated before and have already had the experience of attempting to make a bowl.

“It’s cool to see the different art styles and how your ability has evolved,” said Katie Cerato.

Her friend Madeleine McCann agreed. “It’s awesome the way they display everything,” she said. “I had fun creating the bowl and using my creative side.”

The bowls indeed were creative, with everything from flowers and frogs to polka dots painted on them. They came in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes, each unique.

“The Art Night is to celebrate student success in arts education, visual and performing arts,” said art teacher Lynne Ouellette. “Empty Bowls is just one component of that.”

Ouellette said more than $2,800 was raised for the Hollis and Brookline food pantries. Once the pantries inform Ouellette of what they need, she and her colleagues go shopping. Food will briefly be stacked and stored at the school for everyone to see the results of their efforts.

“All the students will be able to see the large amount of food and make a real connection to what their generosity and work have provided for others,” she said.

The Empty Bowls fundraiser continues through the end of the school year. Anyone who wishes to purchase a bowl should contact Ouellette at lynne.ouellette@sau41.org.