Arts and Crafts Center open to all Holloman artisans

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Siuta B. Ika
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Eric Gill, a British sculptor and typographer, once said, "The artist is not a different kind of person, but every person is a different kind of artist."

For Team Holloman members, the Arts and Crafts Center here serves every artist from the "Average Joe" to Picasso.

"We have a lot to offer from all of our shops - framing, engraving, embroidery and ceramics," said Angela Zelnis-Zedan, the director at the Arts and Crafts Center. "We're currently undergoing a modernization of the entire store to give our customers more options."

Some changes currently underway include the store's layout, prices of merchandise, and number of items for sale.

"We're going to have a room for general classroom use or a self-help area if somebody comes in and needs space for a project," Zelnis-Zedan said. "Our store may look empty now, but we're ordering shelves and supplies to fill up the store. A lot of people may think we charge a lot because we're a small store, but that's not the case. In most of our shops it actually costs about 50 percent less than it would downtown, so it's a really good deal here."

One of the changes that will affect the shop the most, Zelnis-Zedan said, is the number and types of classes the center will offer.

"Our classes are definitely very popular and in the next quarter we will be offering stained glass, soap painting, book making, paper making, scrapbooking and card making," the Arts and Crafts Center director said. "Our photography class is also very popular right now, because it, and all of our classes, are offered with the military member in mind. Some are after the duty day and the others will be during the weekend. This has never really been a store and classroom place like other arts and crafts centers at different bases, but we're working to turn that around."

One of the center's individual shops is also currently undergoing changes.

"In the past at our ceramics shop, people would come in and pour their own liquid clay, but a lot of people don't want that anymore," Zelnis-Zedan said. "They want that instant gratification of being able to come in, buy something, paint it, and go home. There are paints and glazes available and they can paint it right here. If they need a fire, we fire at least once a week, which is what hardens the glaze, so within a week they're able to pick up their item. Overall, it's hand-made, not very expensive and good for the kids."

The center's other three shops - framing, engraving and embroidery - will be offering the same services as they have in the past.

"Our engraver uses a laser engraver so he's able to engrave on glass, plastic, Plexiglas, metal, wine bottles, and pretty much anything our customers have come in with," Zelnis-Zedan said. "He has plaques and trophies available as well so you just come in, tell him what kind of plaque you want, and if it's not in stock, he can special order what you want. At our framing shop, a lot of people may think it's just simple framing, but we do shadow boxes, flags, coins, jerseys, flight suits - all at a very good price. At embroidery we do patches, custom embroidery, and name tapes. The Exchange does name tapes, but we do them quicker, so a lot of deployers have come in and we're able to provide them with same-day service."

Having all four of the shops at the center, along with the incoming retail goods, is a plus for Team Holloman, Zelnis-Zedan said.

"There's nothing really downtown for anybody. Even Walmart has just a small section for arts and crafts, so we're getting supplies so people can get what they need without going to Las Cruces [N.M.] or El Paso [Texas]," she said. "We worked out deals with some of the vendors to get items at wholesale, so we can pass the savings onto the customer. We also do consignment for people that want to sell their stuff here. My fear is that people come in here, see what we don't have right now, leave and never come back."

One of the ways the Arts and Crafts Center will be promoting all of their services is by hosting a "Sidewalk Sale" June 9.

"This is our push, we'll be getting all of our stuff in, we're cleaning everything out, and this is going to be like a brand new store," Zelnis-Zedan said. "We'll be selling some items that have been in here for a little while, but we also want to showcase the new items we will have. Everything in the lobby will be on sale for 10 to 50 percent off. Even the new stuff will be on sale, so even though it's brand new, it's still going to be 10 percent off. We will also have things on sale from all of the other shops as well, because we're trying to get people used to coming in here."

The "Sidewalk Sale," Zelnis-Zedan said, will only display the beginning of what she has planned for the center.

"June 9 is our big sale, but within three months, everything in the store should be set," she said. "We'll also be having a Fourth of July sale, with anything red, white and blue 20 to 40 percent off, and a back to school sale as well."

Even with all of the change at the center, the services provided will be better than ever, Zelnis-Zedan said.

"The four of us here work hard and we pitch in wherever we can to help the store run smoothly," she said. "We work a lot of rush orders, and we're pretty accommodating to everyone. We've made molds for people, taught how to make horse-hair pottery, and we've even did some custom embroidery on dog vests and leashes. I don't think we've turned any request down, because between all of us, we can pretty much do anything you want."

One of the biggest obstacles the store will have to overcome is becoming better known to the base populace, said Danielle Lamb, an Arts and Crafts Center employee.

"We get people all the time that have been stationed here for three years, and walk in and tell us that they never even knew we were here," she said. "We have a lot to offer, we've just never been showcased, but as long as you can get here and pay for what you want, you're good to go."

The Arts and Crafts Center, located on Second Street in between Connecticut and Idaho Avenue, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on any of the services they provide, call (575) 572-3760.