Senior Organizes Moore Faculty & Students to Help Fight Hunger & Homelessness

  • eb moore girls

In November, undergraduate Melanie Pawlowski, a senior art education major, organized Moore students and faculty to help fight hunger and homelessness. Pawlowski’s effort generated 30 one-of-a-kind painted ceramic bowls by Moore artists for Arcadia University’s annual Empty Bowl Dinner.

Over 700 people attended the Dinner held on November 15 at Arcadia’s Glenside, PA campus. The Moore bowls along with those made by Arcadia students and local artists were used to serve up soup at the event that raised $9,000 for Heifer International and the Interfaith Hospitality Network, non-profit organizations who work to end hunger and poverty.

“The dinner serves as a piece of education, a reminder that there are many in the US and around the world with only an empty bowl for dinner,” said Cindy Rubino, coordinator of community service at Arcadia. “The work the Moore students and faculty contributed was irreplaceable. The bowls that they donated were painted exquisitely and were a crowd favorite.”

Melanie Pawlowski got the idea to have Moore participate while working at The Mud Shack, a paint-your-own-pottery shop where she works two to three days a week in North Wales, PA. She works there full time in the summer.

“I decided to do it with a couple of my friends and it quickly became 30 from a start of 12,” she said. “I knew we were all art students and expected some good pieces. There were some really nice abstract, contemporary and realistic designs. That was the goal.”

Pawlowski used her own money to purchase the bowls through a wholesaler. She borrowed supplies from The Mud Shack and the cost of paint was included in the firing cost and came out of her paycheck.

"The work took a lot of time because you have to half glaze the bowls, wait for it to dry and then glaze the other half.  Then you have to sand any drips in the dried glaze by hand and lastly stilt each bowl when loading then into the kiln," Pawlowski said.

She gave everyone a week to decorate their bowls and glazed and fired them at the shop on her own time. The finished bowls were displayed during Moore’s Open Studio Night on November 10.

“It (Open Studios) raised awareness for the event and all the artists were able to see each other’s finished bowls,” Pawlowski said. “Before they are fired they look very different. After the bowls are glazed they pop.”

Pawlowski plans to continue to participate in the Empty Bowl Dinner after she graduates. Next year, she hopes to enlist the help of students at William Cramp Elementary School in Philadelphia, where she will be student teaching.

Read a news article about Pawlowski here

List of Empty Bowl Participants:
Deirdre Bailey
Brianna Barton
Lindsay Bauer
Jamiee Cruz 
Katherine Della Monica 
Danielle Finger
Martha Gelarden (faculty)
Chriztie Kaufmann 
Monika Kuder
Gracie Lewis 
Kathryn Locke
Jacqueline Maloney 
Carissa Marinelli
Tina Matczak
Kelly McCaughern
Natalie Negron 
Alice Oh (faculty)
Lauren Overstreet
Melanie Pawlowski
Theresa Poli 
Pam Reimers
Terri Saulin (faculty)
Cherise Sistrunk  
Margaret Stewart
Linda Storione 
Sophie Strachan 
Shannon Toale
L.C. Tucker & Valerie Lang

Moore College of Art & Design celebrates more than 160 years of educating women for careers in the visual arts as the nation's first and only women's art college. Moore's student-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. The College offers nine bachelor of fine arts degrees for women. Coeducational graduate programs were launched in summer, 2009. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, continuing education programs for professional adults, the 85-year-old acclaimed Young Artists Workshop for girls and boys grades 1-12, The Art Shop and the Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit

Media Contact:
Michele B. Cohen
Assistant Director of Communications

Published on December 16th, 2010