Felicia Follum and Empty Bowls

Gray Rock by Felicia Follum

Gray Rock by Felicia Follum

This February, the Gallery at the Park unveils a new art exhibition based on the theme of social change. Stop by to see both parts of the exhibition: the Empty Bowls project and the artwork of Felicia Follum.

Follum’s exhibition celebrates the diversity in our community. While she acknowledges that many people do not consider the Tri-Cities to be particularly diverse, she argues, “If you are willing to leave your bubble of comfort, there are so many levels of diversity in the Tri-Cities that I’m not even sure how to define diversity anymore.” Follum invites anyone who is still skeptical to view her art and see our community the way she does.

Follum recently moved to the Tri-Cities from Laramie, Wyo., where she presented numerous exhibitions addressing important social topics such as religion, human trafficking and racism. She hopes to continue exploring culture and diversity with her exhibition at the Allied Arts Gallery. This body of work reflects the adventures she has had in the Tri-Cities and the diverse communities she has encountered here.

On the cultural relevancy of the exhibition, Follum states, “I believe that art has the ability to bring diverse groups of people together in ways that nothing else can.”
In conjunction with Follum’s art, the Gallery at the Park’s February exhibition will also feature our own community’s contribution to the Empty Bowls project, a national movement that aims to raise money and promote awareness for the fight to end world hunger.
Local artists have donated handmade bowls of various sizes, mediums and styles to the project. The Gallery also hosted three free one-hour workshops on how to create clay bowls by hand, which more than 40 community members attended on Jan. 7. All of these creations will be displayed and sold at the Allied Arts Gallery in order to raise money for the Tri-Cities Food Bank.

Follum’s artwork is a fitting companion for the Empty Bowls exhibition, as some of the groups she has spoken to in the Tri-Cities include homeless communities and refugees who have recently entered the United States – both of which are groups that the Empty Bowls movement will help. With her exhibition, Follum aims to shed light on the poverty hidden in our community. Attendees – even those who have lived here for their entire lives – will gain a new perspective on the Tri-Cities.

The Felicia Follum/Empty Bowls exhibition will be on display until Feb. 24., and the reception will be held on Feb. 5, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Bethany Beard