The Art of Saving Lives

University responds to tragic earthquake in Haiti

Text and photos by Michael Richeson

When a disastrous earthquake struck Haiti and killed nearly 200,000 of its people, art professor Mark Terry organized an “Empty Bowls for Haiti” event. Students, faculty and guest professional potters gathered in the ceramics lab on Friday, Feb. 6, for a unique fundraising event that is hoped to raise thousands of dollars for victims of the massive quake. In less than 12 hours, artists created more than 1,600 handmade bowls, including pieces by well-known potters Don Sprague, Nils and Diane Lou, and Don and Cindy Hoskisson.

Terry said that when disaster strikes, it can be difficult for artists to find a way to use their talents to help people in need. Creating these bowls combines the love of art with the gift of live-saving aid. This marks the university’s second “Empty Bowls” fundraiser. In 2005, nearly $20,000 was raised to assist the “untouchable” caste on the coast of India after the tsunami.

“We hope to do much more this time,” Terry said. “There are people out there who need help. We have the means to do it.”