Bowls for the Soul fundraiser set for Feb. 28


Sarah McClain and Kimberly Waggoner working to shape their “Beautiful Mud” bowls that will be part of the Winona High School Arts Class fundraiser, Bowls for the Soul, set for Feb. 28 at the Winona Community House. Tickets are on sale now for $20, which will include a cup of soup to go with an artisanal bowl. Tickets may be purchased by any art student at Winona High School. (Photo submitted)

For the price of a bowl soup, not only will ticket holders receive an artisanal bowl, but they will help Winona High School Art students take two trips to Europe.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by a Winona High School Art student. Ticket holders will receive their handmade bowl, crafted by art students, as well as a cup of delicious soup at the fundraising event set for Feb. 28 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Winona Community House.

There are two trips currently in the works for this class. This summer, students will travel to London and Paris. Next summer they will travel to Rome, the Alps, Paris, and London.
Winona High School Art teacher Shirley Hamilton said the reason there are two trips planned back to back was to give the 12th grade students a chance to go before they graduated.

“After this, we will plan go every two to three years to give more time to raise money,” Hamilton said. “This trip is about so much more than art. Art is an important aspect but we’ll be able to experience another culture, as well as learn about the history of the places we visit. Of course everyone wants to go to the top of the Eiffel tower but we’ll also see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre along with many other masterpieces located there.”

For Hamilton, the trips to Europe are a way to her students to experience the differences and similarities of people in other parts of the world.

“The reason it is important for students to travel is that it opens up the world to them,” Hamilton said. “We study so much in school about literature and history that is made more real when we travel and see the paintings, castles, etc., first hand.”

Hamilton said she admits that when she was in high school, she didn’t understand what the big deal was about Michelangelo’s ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

“I knew it was a huge accomplishment but I didn’t fully understand that until I was standing below it looking up at it when I took my first group of students abroad,” Hamilton said. “I had goosebumps. I remember one of my professors in college talking about wanting to create art that made the hairs on back of someone’s neck stand up that he’s only seen a handful of artworks that evoked that response him. Michelangelo’s masterpiece evoked that response in me.”

The gifted art class at Winona High School is a studio-based program. Students spend time developing drawing and painting skills and apply them to specific projects.

They are also learning the three major techniques of handbuilding in pottery that they are using to create the bowls that will be given as part of the fundraiser.


Cori Arendale handbuilding a Beautiful Mud bowl. (Photo submitted)

Art student Cori Arendale said making the shape look like a bowl instead of something else is the most difficult part of handbuilding with pottery.

“I like working with the clay,” Arendale said. “I don’t know; it’s just cool how you can make something useful with it.”

Sarah McClain agrees, it can be hard to get the design to look right on the bowl.

“It has to be perfect,” McClain said.

Art student Kimberly Waggoner said making these bowls has been a source of pride for the local artists.

“We’re not just selling mass-produced stuff,” Waggoner said. “We’re actually making each bowl. We’re selling something that is important to us and that we take pride in.”

Hamilton said her students are “thoughtful and creative and know the value of hard work.” She said not every student will go on to have a career in the arts but they will all lead lives enriched by the arts.

“I’m fortunate to show them different techniques and skills to create artworks based upon their interpretation of themes I give them,” Hamilton said. “This method of teaching allows the students to develop their own ideas and responses to the concept.”

For example, Hamilton said this year, 11th graders are researching the concept of boundaries and how that theme can be expressed in visual artwork. They also create projects specifically designed to develop certain skills.

Her first year students are currently working on a linear perspective drawing of the hallway outside my classroom. Hamilton said this project is designed to help students learn how to show depth in an artwork.

The artisanal bowls created by WHS art students for the fundraiser will be the first of the Beautiful Mud collection, that they hope will be sold locally and online as a means of learning the business side of art.

For more information about the Gifted Art class at Winona High School or to purchase tickets for Bowls for the Soul, contact Hamilton at (662) 299-4663 or by emailing her at


See this story in the January 29, 2015 edition of The Winona Times.


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