Plate Painting Project Raises Money for Bunnell


     Community members are meeting at the Bunnell Street Arts Center to paint plates. The activity is an annual fundraiser for the Homer organization.

     This is the 22nd year people will have a chance to paint plates, which are used as thank you gifts for donating to the Bunnell Street Arts Center. Assistant Director Adele Groning said local potters volunteer their time and clay to make 100 plates to be used as a blank canvas. She says it’s an opportunity to flex your artistic muscle.

     “Each plate takes anywhere between five to 10 hours of work. And sometimes even more because you can really see the more work you put into one of these, the more incredible it becomes,” Groning said.

     “It’s taken me about six to seven hours just doing the hair,” Jacob Christman said.

     The hair in question is red with ivy tangled in between the strands. 

     “This is actually the first plate I’ve ever done. This is the first time I’ve actually painted anything since freshman year in Art I. It’s new territory for me, but I love it. It’s relaxing and just fun,” he said. 

     Christman said he was inspired by an artist named Muka. He said he’s glad for the opportunity to get out of the house and spend an afternoon doing something creative on a winter day. Bunnell Development Coordinator Brianna Allen said she likes to have a plan of action when designing a plate.

     “I’m going to be doing four layers, kind of like a layered cake. On the top layer is going to be a layer of butterflies. And then it’ll be a layer of sailboats, then a layer of fish, and then a layer of worms. It’s going to continue through the length of the plate,” Allen said. 

     She said this is her second year painting and she’s still getting comfortable with the medium. Executive Director Asia Freeman said they are encouraging any skill level to come out. After all, she says the plates can be washed off.

     “We’re all willing, here at the Bunnell… to help teach how to do this. But we’re learning together, and it’s definitely a cagey medium. Because you put it down and it looks kind of opaque, and then when you fire it, it becomes very translucent and other layers emerge. And so, that’s a little terrifying,” she said.

     But Freeman said that shouldn’t discourage anyone from taking part in the fundraiser. Freeman said she enjoys the camaraderie that comes along with the project. The gallery is open to painters every Monday through Saturday from noon until 5 p.m. Groning said they expect to start hosting plate-painting workshops next month for those who may need a little extra help.