Artists excited about sixth annual Soup-R-Bowl

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A steaming hot bowl of your favorite soup is a comfort on a cold winter day, and Tomé Art Gallery is offering a smorgasbord of homemade soups in handcrafted pottery bowls you get to keep.

The event is the gallery’s sixth annual Soup-R-Bowl party, set from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 2, in the Thome Dominguez Community Center in Tomé.

Deborah Fox-News-Bulletin photo: Tomé Art Gallery potters getting ready for the gallery’s sixth annual Soup-R-Bowl are, from left, Jan Pacifico, Toni Edwards, Heidi Snell, Chris Lunsford and Joan Prokopiak. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 2, across the street from the gallery in the Thome Dominguez Community Center.

Gallery artists, students and friends of the gallery will make an array of soups, including broccoli and cheese, split pea, beef and vegetable and many others.

The Soup-R-Bowl offers more than 60 different types of soups and stews served in bowls made by gallery artists. Several breads will be baked to accent the soups, such as gallery owner, Jan Pacifico’s popular Albanian bread. She learned the recipe from her grandmother. It is a coil bread with ham, oregano, sun dried tomatoes and cheese rolled into it.

“It’s almost like a little meal rolled up in bread,” said artist Joyce Johns.

Visitors can also expect a few homemade appetizers, such as chicken wings and nachos, as well as tasty desserts. The cost is $10 per person for all you can eat, and the bowl is yours to keep.

“For $10, you can have a feast and a bowl,” said potter Toni Edwards.

“Even guests are bringing things,” said Johns. “It’s becoming more like a giant potluck.”

The Soup-R-Bowl event used to be held at the gallery, but it got too busy, said potter Chris Lunsford.

“I enjoy doing it because it’s for a good cause,” Lunsford said.

Because of Soup-R-Bowl’s gaining popularity, it is now held across the street in the more spacious community center, which has plenty of parking.

“We hire the police to come to help them park their cars, so it slows down traffic because people walk back and forth (between the gallery and the community center),” said Pacifico. “And they stop the traffic so people can walk back and forth safely.”

Each bowl is handcrafted by the gallery’s finest potters. They can be selected and purchased in advance at the gallery or on the day of the event. If you purchase a bowl early, be sure to also get your ticket to the Soup-R-Bowl.

There are bowls in several colors, glazes, sizes and designs ― all signed by the artists.

“It’s really fun. You see everybody come in with the bowls they’ve been buying ahead of time,” Pacifico said with a laugh. “It’s like Oliver Twist or something.”

The annual event raises money for art scholarships to the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus.

“I think we’re one of the only art scholarships in the area,” said Pacifico. “There are a lot of scholarships, but I don’t think there are many art scholarships.”

“The government has cut back on how much it is willing to give in financial aid,” said potter Vilis Shipman. “So, a lot of times you’re having to find the money for clay and tools and supplies out of your own pocket. When you’re in school full-time, it’s hard to come up with that kind of money.”

The scholarship is in honor of the late Virginia Casados Clark, a Tomé Art Gallery member and art teacher.

“She did straw applique and religious figures,” said potter Joan Prokopiak.

All of the food, supplies, clay, hours of work spinning and painting the bowls is donated by the artists and members of the community.

Through the annual Soup-R-Bowls, the gallery has raised about $13,000 for art scholarships over the past six years.

The event has gained a following, and everybody looks forward to it.

“I’ve already got a whole bunch of people chomping at the bit,” said Johns. “I said ‘OK, it’s time,’ and they’re all going to rush in this week.”

“Everybody knows because it’s Superbowl Sunday,” Pacifico said. “It’s something they can remember.”

Visitors come from the surrounding area, including Española, Rio Rancho and some from out-of-state.

A local guitarist adds to the atmosphere, and prizes from the gallery can be won in a raffle.

The Thome Dominguez Community Center is across the street from the Tomé Art Gallery, 2930 N.M. 47.

The gallery is also celebrating a grand re-opening after completing renovations.

For information, call 565-0556.


-- Email the author at dfox@news-bulletin.com.