(Photo courtesy of Ridley Fontana) “From the very first meeting there was enthusiasm for the crafts.”
As of writing this article, there are 270 clubs registered to UMass Lowell on Engage, the site that keeps track of school clubs and club activities. The Arts and Crafts Club joins their ranks this semester after being officially recognized over the summer and will be meeting every Wednesday at 7pm in Dugan B9 on South Campus.
Ridley Fontana, a senior English major with a concentration in Journalism and Professional Writing, is president of the Arts and Crafts Club and says he was inspired to form the club because he was “looking for a place that allowed me to explore different art forms with limited stress. Trying a new craft can be so expensive and I didn’t have a way to try something out. If I didn’t like it, I was stuck with supplies I’d never use again. Now I’m able to offer these supplies to other students who do this craft.”
Any and all students are encouraged to join, not just students whose majors have an artistic focus. The club is looking to serve as a connection for all who have an interest.Their club “harbors a love of arts and crafts and aims to teach our members new skills and crafts, while also serving as a makers space for those with a craft they just need time to focus on.”
From accounts of the first meeting, this marker seems to have been met with lots of enthusiasm from those who attended. “We had trouble getting people to want to leave and go home. Everyone wanted to stay and craft longer.” “The draw for students is finding new hobbies and ways to relax after classes.” With the busyness of the average college student’s schedule, it can be difficult to find time for creative freedom, be it with personal projects or other activities that are not the usual traditional academic work.
So far, they have done activities such as rock painting, bracelet making, and origami. They hope to have people show for meetings who are able to teach things such as knitting and crochet to the group. For students that have specific requests for crafts, “We have a suggestion box at every meeting. We cannot promise everything because supplies are expensive and funds are limited, but we will try our very best.”
They are currently on the lookout for a secretary to join their e-board. Along with Ridley Fontana as their President, the e-board is currently comprised of Savannah Baker as Vice President and Morgan Mylon as Treasurer. The club’s Instagram can be found at @umlartsandcrafts.
Fontana says, “Come on down and craft. We welcome any one of all crafting experiences to come and join us for a meeting. There are really no expectations except a good time and a unique product for each member to leave with.”