Entertainment

Soup’s on at the art gallery

 Ron and Laurie Sylvester of Money Concepts Penticton show off some of the bowls created by the Penticton Potters’ Guild with potters Toni Cattani and Gail d’Aoust. The bowls are part of the Soup Bowls Project fundraiser for the Art Gallery of the South Okanagan. -  Photo by Mark Brett
Ron and Laurie Sylvester of Money Concepts Penticton show off some of the bowls created by the Penticton Potters’ Guild with potters Toni Cattani and Gail d’Aoust. The bowls are part of the Soup Bowls Project fundraiser for the Art Gallery of the South Okanagan.
— image credit: Photo by Mark Brett

Hot steaming soup, plus beautiful handmade pottery bowls equal a great annual fundraiser for the art gallery.

The Art Gallery of the South Okanagan’s annual Soup Bowls Project fundraiser takes place in one week and the Penticton Potters’ Guild is getting ready.

“Clay is wedged to get air bubbles out,” explained guild member Gail d’Aoust while standing in the guild’s home base in the Leir House basement. “The bowls are thrown on the wheel and some are hand built.”

From there the bowls air dry for 10 days, then are prepared for their first of two visits to the kiln.

D’Aoust is just one of the guild members helping make the 180 bowls. While the clay is purchased by the gallery, the bowls are all thrown or modelled, fired and glazed on volunteered time.

“We provide 180 bowls every year,” said Donna Arneson, another guild member who oversees the operation of the guild’s portion of the project. “(Each member involved) has to make at least 10 to participate, but we always make more than that.”

Each bowl is unique in its shape, size and decoration and goes home with whoever chooses it to sample soups the night of the event. This year sees some bowls with painted fish or swans, two- and three-tone glazes and a variety of different colours.

“Every individual potter is allowed to have free rein,” said d’Aoust of the unique designs gracing the individual bowls.

The night of the event, guild members are often present to see who picks their bowls.

“I love going,” said d’Aoust. “I get to give to the gallery and at the same time get to enjoy an evening out.”

Now in its 11th year, the event’s sponsor, Money Concepts Penticton, has been supporting it for a decade.

“I loved the idea of something this informal that brought different people to the gallery that would not normally go,” said Laurie Sylvester who owns the company with her husband Ron.

“Watching people choosing their bowls is fun ... people do put a lot of effort into choosing their bowl.”

The fundraiser helps with art gallery programming and exhibitions and usually raises about $6,000 in revenue.

For those with an interest in learning pottery themselves, the guild meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.; will be offering lessons in the new year; and often has Wednesday night drop-ins for new potters.

Restaurants creating special soups and breads for the night are Theo’s Restaurant, The Dream Café, Voodoo’s, Whole Foods Market — Wheat Grass Café, Kettle Valley Station Pub, Joy Road Catering, Fibonacci Roastery and Café, The Lunchbox, Salty’s Beach House, Can Coffee Ltd., Cannery Brewing Company, Just Pies and Serious Breads and Walla Foods.

Red Rooster Winery will be offering wine samplings as well.

Local performers The Darylectones will be providing live entertainment while those in attendance fill up their bowls and wander the gallery.

The Soup Bowls Project takes place at 7 p.m. at the Art Gallery of the South Okanagan Oct. 26. Entrance is $35 for non-gallery members and $30 for members.

For more information or to purchase a ticket visit the gallery at 199 Marina Way or call 493-2928.

To sign up for lessons or learn more about the Penticton Potters’ Guild call 493-7399.

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