As Thanksgiving approaches, it seems natural to focus on gratitude. After all, the heart of this holiday is about counting our blessings, and, in turn, sharing some of that bounty with others less fortunate in our community.
For Teri Vereb, long-time Novato resident and owner of Arts Desire Gallery in Ignacio's Pacheco Plaza, the desire to give back to her community meant combining her passion for art with a unique fund-raising idea. The result is the Bowls of Plenty Project, a benefit luncheon for the New Beginnings Center that will take place at the gallery from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18.
The concept is simple: Patrons select and purchase a one-of-a-kind handcrafted bowl, donated by a local artisan, that will be filled with homemade soup. Bowls of varying sizes, styles, and prices to fit every budget will be available for purchase.
Proceeds raised from sale of the bowls will be donated to the New Beginnings Center in Novato. This locally based nonprofit provides dormitory-style housing for men and women in transition, including services like counseling, job training, and "life skill" classes that help residents prepare for success when re-entering the community.
Soup for the event will be prepared by Homeward Bound's Fresh Starts Culinary Academy, one of the main job-training programs offered at New Beginnings. Those who purchase a bowl can choose to fill it with Butternut Squash-Apple Bisque, or Marin Veggie Soup for lunch. The event has gained momentum thanks to generous donations from Paradise Foods, and produce gleanings from local farms and individuals.
Arts Desire is accepting donations of bowls from clay artisans who wish to promote their work by contributing to this worthy cause.
In addition to bowls donated by professional ceramicists and potters, Arts Desire is partnering with instructor Nadine Gay at Novato's Northbay ArtWorks to facilitate two pottery workshops aimed at beginners who want to create hand-built bowls for the event. A nominal materials fee of $30 per person will be charged to participate. Advance registration is required by calling Arts Desire at 415-234-6114.
Participants may create multiple bowls during the two-hour workshop, as long as at least one bowl per person is donated to the event.
The first workshop, which took place this past Thursday evening, attracted a respectable turnout of budding artists who embraced the process of making their bowls — including local girl scouts from Troop 31644 who created 16 pieces for the project.
A follow-up workshop, scheduled from 6-8 p.m. at Northbay ArtWorks, 7049 Redwood Boulevard (2nd floor) on Thursday, Nov. 15, will focus on glazing previously made pieces in preparation for firing.
Finished bowls will be on display at Arts Desire Gallery, located at 440 Ignacio Boulevard in Novato, where patrons can bid on their favorite(s) by silent auction up until the day of the event.
This delicious community fundraiser is perfect for the whole family, so stop by Arts Desire for lunch on Nov. 18, filling your bowl with soup and your heart with gratitude.
See you there!