Local resident fights hunger with art at Blues Festival
- Evan Jensen
- Estacada News - Features
Heimann among artists to donate to Empty Bowls project this weekend
When the 2009 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival opens in downtown Portland tomorrow, blues fans from the area will find more than just music. Estacada potter Mark Heimann will be among a number of artists who will donate their work to the Empty Bowls project to raise money for the Oregon Food Bank.
Heimann is a member of the Oregon Potters Association and began participating in the Empty Bowls project a few years ago.
'I'm one of the many participants in the Empty Bowls project,' Heimann said. 'The Oregon Potters Association has done this for about 16 years to support the Oregon Food Bank. I like charity work and I think this is a really cool project. We've raised over $200,000 through this fundraising event since it started. It's a rockin' situation down at the waterfront this weekend, and this is something I'm really dedicated to doing. I'm really gung-ho for this whole project.'
Throughout the year, OPA collects hundreds of pottery donations of all types, sizes and shapes from its member ceramic artists. OPA members then sell the donated pottery - often at bargain prices - at the Empty Bowls booth during the Waterfront Blues Festival. Last year, OPA's Empty Bowls fund-raiser generated more than $12,994 for Oregon Food Bank.
Distribution of emergency food throughout Oregon and Clark County, Wash., has reached record levels, according to Oregon Food Bank. In an average month, more than 210,000 people rely on food from emergency food boxes to stave off hunger. Of those, 36 percent are children.
'Oregon Potters Association is once again pleased to contribute to the efforts to help feed people who are hungry,' said Bill Sanchez, chair of this year's event. 'The event provides local potters a way to make a personal difference. In addition to pottery, the booth will include some glass art, thanks to donations from local glass artists who are members of the Oregon Glass Guild.'
The empty bowl symbolizes hunger and poverty faced by people throughout the world. A group of Michigan potters created Empty Bowls in 1991. The program is now a fundraising project in nearly all 50 states.