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ASU Barrett Honors College students make art to give back to community

Two ASU Barrett Honors College students hold up painted ceramic bowls and smile.

CJ Metz (right), a Barrett Honors College student, and a fellow honors student show the bowls they recently painted for the Tempe Empty Bowls project. Photo courtesy ASU Barrett Honors College

February 24, 2023

Art, philanthropy, community service and de-stressing activities recently came together in a student-centered event at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University.

On Jan. 25, Barrett students participated in the Paint it Forward: Empty Bowls charity event at the Barrett Student Engagement Center on the ASU Tempe campus. Students at the event, which was hosted by Barrett and As You Wish Pottery, painted ceramic bowls that were donated to Tempe Empty Bowls, a local organization that helps fight hunger and homelessness in the Tempe area.

CJ Metz, a Barrett student event programmer, helped plan and execute the event for his fellow honors students.

“My favorite part about planning events for Barrett students is providing unique and original ideas for students to get interested in and attend,” he said. “This event allows students to creatively express themselves with pottery but also helps people with hunger."

Barrett students painted 40 bowls that were donated to Empty Bowls in Tempe for its fundraiser bowl sale, set to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25, in the courtyard at the Tempe Public Library, located at 3500 S. Rural Rd.

“The money from the sale benefits charities like the United Food Bank, which provides food for children and others in our community,” Metz said.

There was a great turnout at the event, including a lot of Barrett freshmen attending as a way to relax during what can be a stressful time in the semester.

“It’s relaxing to paint,” said Ava Campbell, a Barrett freshman majoring in chemistry. She added that earning Barrett Bucks — currency students can use to purchase honors college swag — was a great incentive for those in attendance. “It’s great because I’m saving up for the Barrett crewneck at the Barrett store!”

Metz, a Barrett junior majoring in film and media productions, aims to host events that are new and different for his fellow Barrett students, like a comic book art and design event.  

These sorts of events help bring creativity to the honors college, he said, and owing to him being a student in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, he feels that’s a good thing.

“As a Herberger-Barrett student, we make up a small percentage of Barrett, which makes being a student worker and representing Herberger students a top priority for me when it comes to planning and executing events,” Metz said. “I am definitely glad I joined Barrett and am grateful for all the opportunities that have been presented to me.”

Metz is planning another service-related event for Friday, April 21, the day before Earth Day.

“This will be an Earth Day quilting event where students can create small quilts out of recycled and donated clothing that can then be donated to local charities,” he said.

While the details, including which charities will be beneficiaries, are being worked out, Metz said, “I plan on having it be an event where students have the opportunity to give back to the community.”

Barrett students can participate in many activities, including artistic, philanthropic, wellness, cultural and personal development events throughout the year on all four ASU campuses.

Barrett students can find information about upcoming events on the ASU Events website, the honors college’s websiteInstagram page and the daily Barrett Digest email.

Story by Barrett Honors College student Alex Marie Solomon