BSM art classes create work for local fundraisers


Audrey Jewett

The BSM art classes have been participating in creating work for the Empty Bowls and Art 4 Shelter fundraising events.

Madison Hicks and Jimmy Youngblut

The BSM Art Department is taking their work beyond the classroom to benefit those in need, and make a difference among the hungry and homeless of Minnesota. Through two programs––Empty Bowls and Art 4 Shelter––student artists are able to donate their work to be sold to provide shelter, meals, and funds for shelters and soup kitchens in the Twin Cities.

“A few years ago, Ms. Puffer started having the clay classes make bowls that we would stock up, and then donate to Empty Bowls to be sold to raise money for the foundation, which works to end hunger,” said art teacher Ms. Kelli Rahn. The clay class continually saves their creations, and Empty Bowls hosts fundraisers or auctions in which they sell the bowls to the general public.

The fundraising nights consists of a soup dinner, live music from various schools or young musicians in Minnesota, and the money raised from the bowls is donated to local hunger-fighting organizations, such as food banks or soup kitchens, or to national or international charitable groups, such as ResourceWest and the ICA Food Shelf.

This year, the art donations have expanded from just the clay classes: painting, drawing, and photography classes are getting involved as well. “Art 4 Shelter is an organization that receives local artists’ work on paper, either photos or canvas art, and are sold to fund a family’s or individual’s stay at a homeless shelter,” said Rahn.

Art 4 Shelter works alongside the Simpson Housing Services, and all of their proceeds go to aid in their cause to aid those suffering from homelessness. According to their website, their mission is “to house, support, and advocate for people experiencing homelessness.”

These various benefit nights are used as not only a way to raise money, but to show off and represent independent artists in the Twin Cities area. “The smaller artwork, the 5” x 7” works, sell for about $30, and fund a one-night stay at the shelter including breakfast the next day, and the larger, 8” x 10” works sell for $150 each, which funds a five-nights’ stay at the shelter with breakfast each day,” Rahn said.

The Art 4 Shelter program is not only a way for the BSM art students to benefit marginalized populations, but to gain exposure and be a part of an art form outside of the classroom. “[BSM] is one of only three schools that participate in the Art 4 Shelter program, so it is a very individual and exciting opportunity for the art students,” Rahn said.

The Art 4 Shelter event will be happening on Wednesday, May 6, and will include a first look luncheon from 11:30 am-1:00 pm, a preview from 6:00-7:00 pm, and then the art sale from 7:00-9:00 pm. The Empty Bowls event is happening April 23, to benefit STEP.