Years ago my friend Liz described a dream of walking into an expansive dining room set with plates and bowls of amazing artistry. She realized each one was unique and compelling, but there was something more. As she looked closer it occurred to her that each place was specific to an individual. She wandered from place setting to place setting marveling at the color, design and shape of each plate and cup while seeking her own place at the table. If I recall correctly, she woke before finding that place.
She also woke with the gift of wonderment. Here were some questions that dream evoked. Do we all have a place at the table? Are we aware of the nourishment we give and receive? How do we honor these vessels, our bodies, which take in life’s sustenance?
We may answer those questions for ourselves in our own ways, but the answers are more complicated for people who struggle with unemployment, illness and family crises. Those who have made it their life’s work to set tables around the world with hand made ceramics both beautiful and useful are Steve and Debra Bures, of Bures Pottery in Peninsula, Ohio. But their concerns extend to wider issues of sustenance.
Last year they challenged artists to face down hunger by starting Cups of Kindness.This art show and sale benefits The Akron-Canton Foodbank In its first year 150 pieces of artwork were donated by both local and national artists. The logo, photography, site design and hosting—all donated. Publicity came from bloggers and local press. Thus far, Cups of Kindness has raised enough money to purchase 28,000 meals through the Akron-Canton Foodbank.
It’s time again. This year’s show will open Saturday, December 5th, 10 to 2, at the Elements Gallery (home to the Bures Pottery studio) and across the street at the Peninsula Art Academy. The show will continue through January 10, 2010. Check Cups of Kindness for details about online purchases and other ways to help.
And enjoy Debra Bure’s blog, From Skilled Hands. She’s one of those people who finds an extra helping of beauty and meaning in what others might see as an ordinary serving of life.