Handcrafted Hope

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Many artists discover their craft and are hooked for life. For some, art may also provide a gateway to awareness and action. The Capital Area Food Bank is fortunate to have support from local artists such as Jane Callen. When she’s not busy working her day job in the public sector disseminating data and promoting economic literacy, Callen can often be found in the hot shop, blowing glass.

Callen took up hot glass in 2009. “Glass is magical,” she said. “The material moves in and out of different physical states, at extremely high temperatures, using fire, a burbling cauldron full of molten liquid and primitive tools. There is terrific beauty in its simplicity. And everything has to be done so very quickly – within seconds, really. Hot glass is a great teacher about the value of the beginner’s mind, the need to be fully present, and humble. “

Last fall, Callen’s work was featured at the CAFB’s annual Empty Bowls event. “The opportunity to create a glass bowl for Empty Bowls meant a great deal. If one person’s actions can make even a small difference in increasing awareness, that matters. Hunger, poverty, homelessness — these are not other people’s problems, they’re societal. Seeing our interconnectedness compels us to act, just as we would if our own family were starving or sleeping on the street,” she said. “The CAFB Empty Bowls event raises awareness using art is its voice. What a lovely concept.”

When her son Devin was a child, they volunteered at the food bank’s partner agencies SOME and Martha’s Table. Callen is also a hospice volunteer and EMT.

Callen looks forward to getting more involved with the CAFB. “Imagine a world where no one in our global family goes to bed hungry, where we open the gateway to addressing the myriad injustices of poverty.” She said she is already planning the glass bowl she will donate for next year’s CAFB event. “A radiant color, for hope…”

The food bank is delighted to work with local artists. Their support helps the CAFB further its mission to nourish those in need.

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