The Giving Season

Feed Your Soul

By - Nov 4th, 2010 04:00 am
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Martin Vertacnik, 2009. Photo courtesy of Feed Your Soul.

At the intersection of physical sustenance and artistic expression lies Feed Your Soul.The event, now in its seventh year, aims to create awareness for hunger in the community with a simple concept and it all begins with a wooden bowl.

Milwaukee artists and designers transform the bowls, a symbol of plenty,  into impressive works of art.Some of the bowls are still functional.Others have been taken past the point of practicality.All of them are beautiful. All are available during a silent auction, and every dollar is given to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

The annual event was organized by the Wisconsin chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and Flux Design.

Photo by Brian Jacobson

Jackie Posselt, a past chairperson and one of the event’s co-founders says that Feed Your Soul came out of a desire to utilize artistic and design connections and marry them with charitable giving.She says that ASID were especially interested in doing something which raised money, as opposed to a food drive.

They decided to pool their creative resources with the four other organizations to “make it the best event possible.”

For Posselt and others, artistic nourishment is on par with actual nourishment, making Feed Your Soul effective in feeding both the body and soul. This is what makes design/art and charity work come together. It is their common mission to respond to an essential need, be it the need for food or for expression, which links the two.

Flux Design was brought into the mix when they offered up their amazing digs to host the event.“Their studio is perfect for so many reasons.It’s a beautiful space and as true artists themselves [it] is inspiring even without our artwork.”

Feed Your Soul 2009

It seems fitting that the event be held in Riverwest as opposed to the Third Ward, the generally accepted artistic hub of the city.Feed Your Soul has the upscale feel of the trendiest section of town while simultaneously retaining the eclectic and community-oriented feel that is synonymous with the tightly-knit neighborhood west of the river.

Past events have hosted Boys and Girls Club members reciting spoken word poetry, local break dance crews, graffiti artists and this year poet Ed Makowski (aka Eddie Kilowatt) is set to read several poems. New this year is on-site t-shirt printing and a raffle for the seminal furniture designer Herman Miller’s swoop chair.

Feed Your Soul is, in a lot of ways, a hybrid event.Trendy yet unpretentious, pragmatic yet theoretical, it combines the high-falutin’ nature of design and art with the very practical nature of charity work.

It all begins with a wooden bowl. Photo courtesy of Feed Your Soul.

However, what brings the two together is equating the sustenance we get from food with that from art.

“I feel people need artistic as well as actual nourishment.Of course without food you would not survive, but without enriching your life with other activities and outlets such as art, music, philosophy, religion, politics, etc, how uninteresting, boring and mundane would our lives be?”

The answer: very boring.

By having an art event to raise money for an organization like Feeding America we as artists get to express ourselves.We get to fill our souls by producing art and being able to help out such a great organization.”

Their fulfilled souls translate to filled stomachs to many of the hungry here in Milwaukee.In just six years Feed Your Soul has raised nearly $200,000 and shows no signs of stopping.According to Feeding America, every dollar donated provided five meals.  You can do the math.  And with an ever-expanding list of 2-D artwork also up for auction, it’s shaping up to be another banner year for the event.

TCD is proud to sponsor the 7th Annual Feed Your Soul on Friday, Nov. 5, at Flux Design, 811 E. Vienna from 8-11 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance at $35 at the door.

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