By Larry Reilly
USAG-Stuttgart Public Affairs Office
More than 200 community members challenged their creative minds to produce works of art during the Military Spouse Appreciation Day workshop at the Patch Community Club, May 12.
Designing usable cheeseboards, dressing up slumping bottles and putting paint to canvas were the artsy challenges offered up by the staffs of the Army Community Service and the Patch Arts & Crafts Center.
“We wanted to do something different this year in recognition of Military Spouse Appreciation Day, and thought who doesn’t like doing crafts,” said April Plumley, ACS coordinator and creative mind behind the daylong workshop.
With ACS collaborating with a number of supportive sponsors to bring it all together, and the Patch Arts & Crafts Center providing the talents of their in-house instructors, it was all up to the community members to tap into their inner creative minds and paint a Picasso or a Rembrandt that they could proudly display in their homes.
“I am not sure I will be able to create a master piece of that level, but I will give it my best,” said Stacy Morrison as her floral arrangement started to blossom on the canvas with each stroke of the paintbrush. “I really like this idea of offering the opportunity to do some crafts and I waited all week to try it.”
Tapping into one’s creative mind and then applying that thought via hands and fingers, especially in the cheeseboard area where vigorous sanding of the board is required, can be exhausting. To help reenergize the crafters, a food table of sandwiches, fruits and vegetables was available.
“Our hopes were that people would stay the entire day and try their hands at each of the three craft areas, and we provided them with four time sessions so they could actually come and go if they had chores to take care of during the day,” Plumley said. “The tough part to gauge prior to the event was how much food and how many boards, bottles and canvases we would need to get.”
Plumley had hoped to get 300 people to participate, but that number seemed a bit ambitious when only 90 people had registered by the deadline. But knowing that word of mouth would spread rapidly across the community, and “who doesn’t like to crash the party,” she went with a hopeful 200.
“We heard about the event and decided to attend, and are really glad we did; so much to do here,” said Devin Weingarten, who along with her husband, Master Sgt. Adam Weingarten and their four-year-old son Noah, tried they skills at designing some cheeseboards. “This is such a great idea and a nice way to get out and talk to people.”
According to a number of people who took the craft challenges, the workshop was a success, but Plumley hopes the success of the challenge continues.
“The one-day workshop was a nice way to introduce or reintroduce arts and crafts to the community. We only hope that many of the people who participated will in the future go to the Patch Arts & Crafts Center and continue to get crafty,” she said.