Canajoharie ceramics students raise funds for those in need

Canajoharie High School students enrolled in the school’s ceramics class used their artistic talents again this year to help local people in need.

For the last 11 years, Canajoharie student artists have participated in the Empty Bowls Project. Through the project, art students each year craft ceramic bowls and sell them to raise funds for worthy causes and local families. This year the proceeds from the project benefited the “Fill the Bus” challenge – a districtwide effort to fill an entire school bus with food and other donations for local charities. The bus full of donations was delivered to local organizations just before Thanksgiving. It included $200 worth of paper products purchased with Empty Bowls proceeds, which were donated to the Comfort Zone in Canajoharie.

Canajoharie art teacher Mrs. Kathy VanLoan and local potter Ms. MaryAnn Nellis, who volunteers each year, assisted the students with the project, which combines elements of pottery making, painting and drawing.

The idea for the Empty Bowls Project was developed 26 years ago by a Detroit art teacher looking for a way to fund a school food drive. Ceramics students in a Detroit school made and decorated bowls, one for each staff member in the school, and served a luncheon of bread and soup and shared facts about hunger. Today, local artists and organizations develop independent Empty Bowls projects across the country.

high school students holding decorated ceramic bowls