Come out and get some gumbo and a gumbowl, too

Published 9:58 am Thursday, February 22, 2024

 There might be as many ways to define gumbo as there are ways to make it. There’s one and only one Gumbowl, and it’s Friday, Feb. 23 in the Shearman Fine Arts Annex Atrium, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Gumbowl gives the public a chance to collect a one-of-a-kind pottery piece and enjoy a bowl of chicken and sausage or seafood gumbo for only $20.

 There will be no pre-sale this year, according to Ken Baskin, art professor at the university. All tickets will be made available at the time of the event on a first-come, first-served basis.

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“There are other bowl events that happen in the area,” Baskin said, but I think Gumbowl is the largest and the oldest.”

Baskin said the student-driven event has been going on every other year for the past 25 years. He “inherited” his role from previous professors and has been the Gumbowl guy for the past 19 years.

“In addition to giving members of the public the chance to own original works of art and to chow down on some gumbo goodness, rice and potato salad, courtesy of James and Mari Bittner of Brick House Catering and Events, Gumbowl proceeds help students who want to learn more about the art of ceramics.

“Each student makes 50 to 100 bowls to help fund their trip to the National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts conference, an international event, the largest in the world,” Baskin said.

 At that conference, 5,000 to 7,000 ceramic artists will converge in Richmond, Virginia. Vendor areas are set up with at least 50 suppliers of the latest technology and tools. Major universities show their wares, and these tables are manned by graduate students and faculty, allowing students to research graduate programs. “There are ceramic artists who are leaders in the field who will attend to demonstrate their building techniques, numerous panel discussions and 75 ceramic exhibitions around the city,” Baskin said.