Empty Bowls planning for big year


Empty Bowls celebrates its 31st year in 2023 by offering sponsorships for the first time and with a silent auction for a one-of-a-kind quilt made by an award-winning Las Cruces artist and members of a local quilt guild.

Empty Bowls, sponsored by the Potters’ Guild of Las Cruces (PGLC), will be held 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 225 W. Griggs Ave. Tickets are $25 and will be available at business locations throughout the area.

All proceeds benefit El Caldito Soup Kitchen, part of Mesilla Valley Community of Hope, 999 W. Amador Ave.

Empty Bowls will include more than 1,000 one-of-a-kind bowls handcrafted by local potters. The admission price also includes a bowl, chosen by the attendee and a lunch of soups and breads donated by restaurants and bakeries from Las Cruces and Mesilla.

“El Caldito is serving more meals than ever, helping to alleviate some of the food insecurity in our community,” said PGLC President Jan Archey, who has been an Empty Bowls volunteer since the fundraiser began in 1993. “So, the Potters’ Guild decided we needed to do everything in our power to raise more money than ever before with this year’s Empty Bowls fundraising event.”


Empty Bowls netted $32,540 last year. The goal for 2023 is $10,000 more than that amount, which is why “this is the first year we’ve ever sought sponsorships,” Archey said.

Sponsorship levels are designed to accommodate all types and sizes of businesses and corporations, said Empty Bowls Steering Committee member Marna Gasperino.

“In addition to a substantial portion of each sponsorship going to benefit El Caldito, each sponsorship level is designed to recognize sponsors supporting the event in specific ways,” Gasperino said.

To be an Empty Bowls sponsor, call Gasperino at 816-985-4432. You also can mail a donation check, noting it is for Empty Bowls, to Potters’ Guild of Las Cruces, P.O. Box 3656, Las Cruces, NM 88003.

For more information call 575-525-3831, text 575-636-0423 or visit www.pottersguildlc.com.


Also new this year is a special art quilt silent auction, Archey said.

The quilt is a collaboration among Las Cruces artist and potter Vickie Morrow and Las Cruces Quilt Guild members Cindy Peterson, Suzanne Thiesfeld, Camille Lechliter, Julie Hyatt-Robson, Diana Diemer and Rita Bureman.

“This quilt really is spectacular and is perfectly calibrated to represent what Empty Bowls is all about,” Archey said. “It is a great addition to our event to raise funds for El Caldito.”

The 2023 Empty Bowls Art Quilt, which is 58 inches tall and 37 inches wide and took 250 hours to create, will be unveiled during a 4-7 p.m. reception, Friday, Sept. 1, at Gallery 925, 925 N. Mesquite St. Attendees can see the quilt for the first time at the reception and meet Morrow and the quilt makers. “You’re not going to want to put this quilt on your bed,” Gasperino said. “This is one you’ll want to hang on the wall. It’s a multimedia piece that incorporates both quilting and pottery.”

Details about online bidding for the quilt are to be announced.

Empty Bowls History

The Potters’ Guild sold 600 bowls and raised $3,500 for El Caldito in 1993, the first year for Empty Bowls in Las Cruces. El Caldito has served more than two million meals since it was founded in 1984. It serves more than 90,000 meals a year, and is part of Mesilla Valley Community of Hope, 999 W. Amador Ave.

For more information about Empty Bowls, visit www.pottersguildlc.org. Also visit www.elcalditolc.org.