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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Craft Center: A Creative Outlet for Students

    Merely a few meters away from Stony Brook’s Staller Center, located in the basement of the Student Union, is the University’s other alternative for creative outlet – the Stony Brook Union Craft Center. The Center specializes in arts, crafts and leisure programs, and registration for the Spring 2007 semester classes have begun.

    Offered are non-credit courses specializing in diverse fields like pottery making, digital photography, creating with watercolor, extreme mixed media, Japanese flower arranging, defensive driving, bartending, decorative painting and much more. Membership is even offered to pottery and photography classes that include extended access to the studios, equipment and supplies.

    Classes are taught by experienced art instructors, graduate students, retired artisans from the community, experienced baristas and SBU professors, to name a few.

    The Center ‘gives students the opportunity to unwind,’ stated Craft Center Coordinator, Janice Costanzo, ‘We are here for the students. It’s a place for them to do something they would not normally have the opportunity to do because of their course load.’

    A non-profit organization, the Craft Center offers classes at a lower cost to SBU students and receives funding from their pottery sales. Upcoming sales will be located in the Student Union Lobby on Feb. 7, Mar. 21 and May 2 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

    As the University grows, the Craft Center, too, is constantly re-inventing its methods in hopes to cater to the ever-changing needs of the student population; but students are not the only members that the Center provides services for. T.J. Maher, Graduate Assistant and Instructor at the Craft Center, describes the center as a place where ‘scientists, surgeons, professors, staff and students can come together and create. You can graduate and still stick around.’

    Nancy Golder, the Artist-in-Residence and an instructor at the Center, is a member of the community who has been working 12 years at the Craft Center. Nancy ‘started classes by volunteering for instructors then became an instructor,’ she stated. This place ‘could be very relaxing. People are nice to work with and everyone feels welcome.’ Nancy’s work will be featured in an exhibition presented by the Craft Center-Pursuing Affinity an exhibit featuring pottery, brush painting and Ikebana in the Student Activity Center Gallery from April 30-May 11, 2007.

    Margaret Homerding, Graduate Student of Marine Sciences, is excited to begin classes this semester because it is ‘cheap therapy’ and provides ‘good mental health.’

    Craft Night, the upcoming event which is to be hosted in the Stony Brook Union Ballroom on Tuesday, Feb. 13 from 7:00 – 10:00 PM, is a free craft event where students can be artistic and create crafts for the dorm rooms. All are encouraged to attend, bring a friend or come without one, relax and be creative.

    The Craft Center is a place where students can not only learn, create and relax, but a place where they can volunteer or work. ‘We’re always in need of [student] volunteers,’ stated Costanzo, ‘and we depend heavily on our student staff as well.’

    ‘I like working here because I get to work on creative stuff. I work on planning events and I get to participate in more artsy fun stuff instead of a boring desk job,’ said the Student Assistant at the Craft center who declined to give her name.

    Costanzo and Maher encourage students and staff to ‘come down for a tour, see what we’re all about, try a class, and if you like it, come back.’

    Visit the lower level of the Student Union for more information on the Stony Brook Union Craft Center for Arts Crafts and Leisure Programs; for information on Spring 2007 Registration , the Craft Center can be reached at (631) 632-6822 , or through their website: and via e-mail:

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