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Artist Chair Celebrates 15 Years with Empty Bowls

By Becky Volk
Social Media Specialist, Tarrant Area Food Bank

This year marks a milestone for Empty Bowls benefiting Tarrant Area Food Bank. Once doors open to guests Friday, Feb. 17, the 15th anniversary celebration will officially begin.

Empty Bowls, Tarrant Area Food Bank’s signature fundraiser, provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the issue of hunger. It also helps raise dollars necessary to provide North Texans with access to nutritious food. Every $60 general admission ticket helps provide enough food for 300 meals to hungry children, families and seniors. Even more amazing is that a $150 VIP ticket can help provide food for 750 meals.

“It’s a basic human need to be able to eat.” – Janet Rodriquez, TAFB Empty Bowls Artist Chair

Empty Bowls provides an exciting adventure for guests. A complimentary Studio Bowl or hand-painted bisque bowl is included in the price of general admission and VIP tickets. Guests also have an opportunity to sample bowl-friendly fare from almost 50 of Fort Worth’s top chefs, restaurants and caters. The fun doesn’t stop there! Guests can take part in a raffle drawing and a silent auction with dozens of items such as season tickets to sporting events, fine jewelry and concert tickets.

Leading the Way

Empty Bowls Artist Chair Janet Rodriguez is an accomplished artist who owns and operates her own studio, Hart Street Pottery. A college mentor of Janet’s introduced her to Empty Bowls in Dallas and encouraged her to get involved in the start-up of Empty Bowls benefiting TAFB. Janet has been instrumental in the success of Empty Bowls ever since.

“I don’t have a lot of money, but if a bowl I create can be turned into money for food for someone in need, then I want to help.” – Janet Rodriguez

As artist chair, Janet works with Empty Bowls committee members year round in planning the annual fundraiser. One of Janet’s main responsibilities includes finding artists to donate bowls. This is no easy feat. Every year, Janet has needed to increase the number of bowls offered to guests for this growing event. In addition, Janet helps organize volunteer painters throughout the year to paint the bisque bowls. She also crafts and paints her own bowl designs for the event. Janet is continuously building relationships with artists and artist studios for potential participation in the next event.

Wooden bowls at Empty Bowls event

Filling Empty Bowls

Over the years, Janet has watched Empty Bowls grow from a small event space in downtown Fort Worth in 2002 to two rooms in the Texas Hall at Will Rogers Memorial Center. She has been key in expanding the selection of bowl mediums for the event, so guests can choose from a wide variety of wood, clay and glass bowls.

Today, the event includes art from over 500 local artists and hobbyists. Guests can find student-painted creations at the Art from the Heart tables and celebrity-autographed bowls in the Celebrity Bowls Auction. A PopUp Shop that will showcase one-of-a-kind art from lamps to vases and more! A Canstruction structure made from 11,444 cans of tuna will also be on display. Afterwards, the canned food will be dissembled and distributed through TAFB’s network of 270 Partner Agencies.

Get Tickets Today

Tickets for Empty Bowls are on sale now and can be purchased on our website. Up for grabs in the Empty Bowls raffle are four one-way tickets on Southwest Airlines, a 40-inch flatscreen TV, and platinum seating tickets to a Dallas Mavericks game.

The opportunity to start the party early is available to all in the Celebrity Bowls Online Auction. Now through Thursday, Feb. 16, viewers can place their bids on bowls signed by their favorite sports hero, musical talent or local top-chef.

Keep up with the latest Empty news in our event on Facebook.

Empty Bowls guests holding their complimentary Studio Bowls. This year marks 15 years with Empty Bowls.