AUGUSTA — Danforth Gallery and the University of Maine at Augusta Student Life, in conjunction with UMA’s Augusta Community Garden and C.A.U.S.E. (Community of Artists for UMA Social Empowerment) are sponsoring Food for Thought: a soup and salad lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, to support the Augusta Food Bank, according to a news release from UMA. Participants in this student fundraising lunch will choose from an assortment of one-of-a-kind ceramic bowls handmade by UMA artist Amy Bley.

Once a bowl is selected the individual will use it to eat a gourmet lunch with other members of the UMA and greater Augusta community. When the lunch concludes, the proceeds go to the Augusta Food Bank and the bowl is participants to keep.

“This event is all about community,” said Robert Rainey, UMA Associate Professor of Photography, according to the release. “Organized by a community of UMA students and organizations to give back to the greater Augusta community in an event that celebrates community by partaking in a meal with others.”

Tickets to this event are $20 and are available through UMA Student Life, Randall Student Center Room 204, Augusta Campus, or from Bley at [email protected].

In addition to the Food for Thought event, the UMA Augusta Community Garden is showcased on the far wall of the Danforth Gallery in an exhibit titled “What Does Community Look Like?,” according to the release.

Anchored by the UMA Augusta Community Garden, 10 UMA photography students explore the meaning of community and how it is expressed throughout the state of Maine. Crafting lenses of their own interpretations and diverse backgrounds, each student presents a study in photography of their chosen narrative at both the micro and macro levels. From farm to table, eating and community supported agriculture, to the inside of one’s own refrigerator and the compost heap, these students show that community exists on all kinds of levels.

The UMA Augusta Community Garden is a civic engagement project growing fresh vegetables for the Augusta Food Bank and sponsoring campus events, student clubs, academic study, research, and social outreach. The UMA Augusta Community Garden’s goal is not only to cultivate plants, but to cultivate community, according to the release.

As of July, 225 people participated in 45 events on the Augusta campus through the garden club, garden course and garden space. Events include gardening work sessions, cookouts, club meetings, canned-food drives, photography sessions, and more. Working together, garden volunteers have grown and donated more than 140 pounds of fresh vegetables to the Augusta Food Bank.

A community garden is also part of the UMA Bangor Campus, where a group of dedicated students and staff participate in addition to gardening in various events to celebrate community in the Bangor Community Garden, including bonfires with s’mores, rock painting, and other activities.

For more information, follow Danforth Gallery on Facebook and visit artsuma.com.

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