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`Change' is the word for art club

UNM's Crafts Studio adds jewelry-making to offering

For many years, art clubs on campus have given students, faculty and the community a chance to explore art through ceramics, and now jewelry-making is on the agenda.

The ASUNM Crafts Studio, one of UNM's oldest organizations, was recently granted funding to jump-start a jewelry-making section of the club. Traditionally focused on ceramics and photography, the Crafts Studio has been open to the public for more than 40 years, providing access to clays, glazes, ceramic tools and kilns to people needing to satisfy their creative itch.

"A lot of our members are people who aren't part of the Fine Arts Department but who want to work on their own, or people who already have a background in art and don't want to take the classes," said Maisie Creelman, a crafts-studio volunteer.

The club, headed by Mark Chavez, has undergone many changes since its inception in the '60s, including its recent relocation from the SUB basement to the east end of the Communication and Journalism building's first floor.

"That was more work than I had ever imagined it would be," Chavez said of the move.

Chavez and his assistant, Zara Luz Southard, are excited about the new space and want to see the club evolve in new directions. With the move from the original studio, which was connected to a dark room, Chavez and Southard decided jewelry making would replace photo developing. Members now can work with sterling silver and semi-precious stones to produce rings, bracelets, necklaces and whatever else their hearts desire for a minimal fee.

In addition to the support offered by the Crafts Studio, the UNM Ceramics Student Organization, commonly known as the Ceramics Club, is devoted solely to the promotion of ceramics. The organization offers students a chance to work with clay, meet with other ceramicists on a regular basis and go to art demonstrations that feature guest artists. In April, the group will organize a fund-raiser where people can purchase ceramic items at a low cost.

"The coolest part about going to Chaco is that you can see shards of ancient Indian pottery and see what they painted their pots with," said Celeste Boals, a UNM ceramics instructor.

The Ceramics Student Organization meets every Tuesday night in the ceramics studio of the Art building, and the crafts studio can be reached at 277-6544.

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