Bowls made with love: 10th Empty Bowls set for Feb. 23

Photo courtesy Tess Garcia

By Kirsten Le Roux
Special to The PREVIEW
“Buy a Bowl to Feed a Soul” at the 10th anniversary of the Empty Bowls event in Pagosa Springs. This year, Empty Bowls will be a stylish affair held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the luxury lodge of The Springs Resort and Spa (the EcoLuxe hotel atrium) on Saturday, Feb. 23.
A $10 donation will get you entry and, from there, you can mingle while enjoying a delicious homemade bowl of soup, chili, chowder or stew made by the dedicated volunteers in your chosen handmade ceramic bowl, which you can take home with you, while listening to Bob Hemenger entertain and sipping on something from the bar (try the Miss Tessie specialty cocktail — bubbly and sweet), and, finally, perusing the fun selection of silent auction items.
The idea of receiving an empty bowl for your donation is a reminder of the empty bowls in our community, bringing awareness to food programs that fight the issue of hunger in our town and county, as well as nationally and internationally. There are many helpful nonprofit and church-based organizations in Pagosa Springs that provide food pantries, soup kitchens and food bank programs, and this annual Empty Bowls charity event is one of the ways these remain funded.
The clay empty bowls are a huge component of the success of this event worldwide and is the reason it’s so close to organizer Tess Garcia’s heart. As an avid potter and lover of all things clay, Garcia coordinates the making of approximately 300 individually designed bowls each year. She makes many of these herself, first creating the bowls out of different types of clay, and then glazing and firing them. She also has help from her mother, Dolores Eduvigen Gurulé, who has set up a work station at her home and makes almost a third of the bowls herself.
Over the years, Pagosa schools art classes and various volunteer groups have helped Tess and Dolores and, this year, two local artists stepped up to assist. They are Mark Epstein and Susan Martin. Both were big-hearted in providing clay and craft items, access to their studios and help from their art students and themselves in making bowls.
A hallmark of a great community event is one which attracts a vast number of individuals and businesses in every aspect of the organizing, enthusiastically coming together and generously bringing with them their special gifts and resources. This is the very heart of Empty Bowls Pagosa Springs and makes it a much loved event. You won’t want to miss the 10th anniversary celebration.