• August 28, 2014

Apache Arts and Crafts Center lets imagination flow

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Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:30 am

The Apache Arts and Crafts Center offers a variety of classes, supplies and workspaces to quench the creative thirst of Fort Hood adults.

The most popular classes offered by the center are ceramics, framing, woodshop and drawing, manager Barbara Newberry said. There also are scrapbooking courses.

Once a student takes a class, they are able to come in and utilize the workspaces for personal projects.

“We have very high end, expensive tools and equipment,” Newberry said.

Bench spaces for each type of project can be rented by the hour or the day for a fee.

The center also offers something special for active-duty soldiers — a room of their own. The Resiliency Room is a free space stocked with everything needed to create any piece of artwork. Up to eight soldiers can work in the room at a time.

“It’s a calm, peaceful area. There’s no instruction — it’s a safe environment,” Newberry said, adding she wishes more commanders knew it was available for their soldiers.

‘Do what you feel’

Spc. Chaz Maathias Taylor, with the Warrior Transition Brigade, said the special room gives him “a place to make my own world.” He has visited the resiliency room for up to two hours daily since March, working on a variety of art projects. He’s been painting his latest ceramic figure for about six weeks.

“It helps to relieve stress,” Taylor said.

Sometimes he and other soldiers talk, other times they listen to inspirational music.

“There are no set guidelines — you can come and do what you feel,” he said.

Art therapists trained the Apache staff on how to create the ideal room for soldiers.

“If minds and hands are busy, you don’t know it but you’re healing,” Newberry said.

Memory wall

This month, soldiers in the Resiliency Room can paint bricks that will compose a mural memory wall. Taylor will be painting several bricks for the project.

Other popular departments in the facility include screen printing and ceramics. There are more than 10,000 ceramic molds offered at Apache.

The Hobby Haven store is filled with supplies to create any art project the building’s equipment allows, as well as the pre-made ceramic pieces for painting.

If customers don’t find something they like in the books, they can commission a piece and “we’ll pour it for them,” said Natalie Chatman, recreation assistant. It takes two days to make each piece, she said. Right now, the shop is working overtime to create Halloween- and Christmas-themed pieces.

The facility offers commissioning of a number of items including trophies, plaques and unit coins. They perform laser engraving, glass etching and custom framing and embroidery, Newberry said.

For children, the Apache center offers art programs through Child, Youth and School Services. As for the actual facility, “the Apache Center is where Mom and Dad come to play,” Newberry said. “We offer industrial arts and crafts.”

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