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Spinning clay for a cause

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Austin Lewis
Dr. Stephanie Young, Associate Professor of Communication Studies makes a bowl out of clay during the 6th annual Bowl-O-Rama Friday afternoon. USI holds several events where volunteers make bowls for Empty Bowls Evansville.

Flecks of dust danced through the rays of sunlight streaming through the back window of the Ceramics Center. The sun began to set as the clock struck 5 p.m. All was quiet except for the sound emitted from the spinning tables in front of several ceramic DJs. The temporary artists put their fingers to work by creating bowls for the 6th annual Bowl-O-Rama.

Students from all different majors and faculty from various departments sat shoulder to shoulder trying to make the perfect bowl.

Austin Lewis
Faculty and students participate in the 6th annual Bowl-O-Rama Friday afternoon. USI holds several events where volunteers make bowls for Empty Bowls Evansville.

Volunteers who had never touched a lump of clay in their life were spinning slimy, gray masses into fantastic bowls. Professors, maintenance personnel, advisors and students came together to raise money for those in need.

The Bowl-O-Rama is an event held every year to bring together any faculty and students that wish to make bowls to be sold during Empty Bowls Evansville.

For the past five years now, the event in Evansville’s downtown arts district raises money that will aid local families suffering from hunger.

“A good 300 volunteers participate in this event and produce an average of about 1000 bowls each year,” Al Holen, assistant professor of Ceramics.

Anybody who wishes to purchase a bowl at Empty Bowls Evansville can show up from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sauced.

Austin Lewis
Samantha Skelton, (left), a senior at Heritage Hills High School makes a bowl out of clay with the assistance of Blake Gamblin, sophomore Art Education Major, during the 6th annual Bowl-O-Rama Friday afternoon. USI holds several events where volunteers make bowls for Empty Bowls Evansville.

Several of the volunteers spoke about how intense the event has been in the past.

They said a line typically forms around the block up to an hour before the doors even open.

“It’s pretty awesome that people get so excited to contribute to a good cause,” said Blake Gamblin.

The sophomore art education major was one of several student advisors assisting the volunteers in making their bowls. Anyone that is in a sophomore level ceramics class must attend an event and advise.

“It helps us learn the craft better by helping others,” said Zach Brown, an undecided sophomore.  

“We couldn’t be happier with the turn out that we had today. All of our volunteers did awesome,” Holen said as she put the finishing touches on the bowl she was designing. “It is incredible to see so many people come out and participate in such a good cause.”

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
Spinning clay for a cause