GRAND FORKS — People come from hours away to get their hands on the artwork of this week's Gem.

Some describe it as jaw dropping, but the artwork is much more than show.

"I love art, I love creating things," said artist Tammie Nadeau.

This time of year, it's not hard to find Nadeau.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

She's usually hard at work at her kitchen table in Grand Forks where she spends hours a day.

"Sometimes I can sit here for three or four hours before I realize I need to stop," she said.

She's busy working on painting bowls; very unique bowls.

"Someone will eat out of their bowl and have a snake inside of it," Nadeau said.

These bowls will help feed the community at Empty Bowls, an event held to raise awareness and money for the St. Joseph's Social Care food pantry and free summer lunch program.

It's a cause close to Nadeau. She once had an empty bowl.

"I've had to use the food pantry, so I feel like this is a way to help other people to give back," she said.

She paints what she thinks people would like or what she likes — holiday cartoon characters, nature and wildlife, she can paint anything.

Each bowl stroked with the same amount of love.

"These butterflies took me about two hours. It's just the little details and different colors and added layers of color."

"I sometimes have to pick my jaw off the floor," said Fayme Stringer Henry, case manager at St. Joseph's Social Care and Thrift Store. "She has created things never seen at our events before."

Some bowls go for around $20, but Nadeau's bowls go for well over $100.

"It's more than financial though," Stringer Henry said. "There were so many people who were inspired by the bowls she created last year that it's impacted our organization in different ways."

People come from hours away to get one or several of the dozens of bowls Nadeau makes.

"Not a lot of artists would take that much time to just give to a cause," Stringer Henry said.

"Quick outline and then I start painting and — kind of like a color book — I just color it all in and then start adding more details on the outside," Nadeau said.

This year, Nadeau is busy working on several Minnesota Vikings bowls that are expected to be a big hit at this year's event.

She hopes to put smiles on people's faces that will help feed hungry stomachs.

"Makes me feel really good that I can create something and then I see people's faces when they see it — makes me feel good that I can make someone feel happy with my heart," Nadeau said.

The empty bowl fundraiser will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, inside the gym at St. Michael's School.

The event usually raises about $30,000.