The Oregon State University Craft Center lies hidden beneath the hustle and bustle of the Student Experience Center. A space full of creative opportunities, any student is guaranteed to find a new passion hidden within its walls. The craft center originated in 1966 from a small group of students. Their main goal was to provide a space for creativity in the high stress environment of a college campus. The Craft Center has since blossomed into a full small business with state of the art facilities and a staff of dedicated employees.
Alan Pacheco and Ava Smith are two students who run the front desk of the Craft Center. Both of these students share a passion for craft and believe in the benefits it can have to one's overall wellness. “It gives people an artistic and creative outlet that they might not get in some of their classes...I can open myself up to a different community,” Smith explained. “It’s also just a good place to come and destress and just relax,” Pacheco added.
The Craft Center has an avid passion for ensuring the wellness of not only Oregon State University students but also the general public as well. The Craft Center offers free events every Monday (Mandala Mondays), Wednesday (Watercolor Wellness), and Thursday (Thoughtful Thursdays) that allow students and members of the greater Corvallis community to drop in to escape the stresses and pressures of what may be happening elsewhere. These events are held in the Craft Center with all of the supplies provided, so it’s a simple and easy way to escape, even if just for a little.
The space in which the Craft Center resides is quite new. In March of 2015, the new Craft Center opened in the basement of the SEC and since then, it has really blossomed. “This space was built for The Craft Center,” Smith said, “It was built specifically for what we do here so instead of having a mish mash, we have specific areas for people to work on specific projects and so it’s a lot easier to find your niche.” Even if you are unsure about what exactly it is you want to do, the Craft Center allows you to explore all options.
Whether your thing is glass blowing, woodworking, jewelry making, or any of the other mediums offered, there is a space and a community awaiting you. “I think the one unique thing about the Craft Center here is that we are really connected to our community,” said Pacheco. “For everyone that works here, it’s not just a job...it doesn’t feel like people coming in and just doing their work and then us just coming in and doing our job. It’s like everyone coming in here to do their thing and we’re all just hanging out and getting to know each other.”
Students can get involved in many different ways. Attending any of the free events is a commitment free way to explore a little of what the Craft Center has to offer. Students can also buy a $40 a term membership which gets you access to the facilities as well as discounts on any classes they offer. Supplies are also available for purchase and orientations occur often so new members can get acquainted with the space. Everyone deserves a place of belonging and creative expression, so why not go give the Craft Center a try? You never know what you might be capable of creating.
Photography by Kelli Tungay (via unsplash.com)