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Arts & Crafts Center creates masterpieces and memories

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shannon Braaten
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea – When it comes to immortalizing memories or celebrating a job well done, the 8th Force Support Squadron arts and crafts center is at the head of the pack. With precision and skill, they combine heritage and tradition into works of art that Airmen can treasure long after their time at Kunsan has passed.

Nestled inside the Recreation Complex, alongside Outdoor Recreation and the woodshop, the Arts & Crafts center is a hub of the arts and creative space for the Wolf Pack. As a part of their primary services, the center offers a frame and plaque shop, mat cutting services, laser engraving and numerous design templates for printing and framing — used almost exclusively for awards and gifts.

 

“We make everything from shadow boxes to customized coins and it requires precision and skill to make the perfect memory,” said Sang Il Choe, 8th FSS recreation complex assistant program director. “The Airmen are always surprised to see their hard work immortalized into something tangible.”

The creative process begins when a customer first makes their order, with accuracy and attention to detail being a critical part of producing the perfect keepsake.

“Everything is checked and triple checked when a customer brings in a request,” said Andrew Rice, 8th FSS recreation complex director. “We try to eliminate errors as much as we can.”

When Airmen leave Kunsan they take these carefully created masterpieces with them as a memento of the time and dedication spent in service to the Wolf Pack. Remarking on his initial arrival to the Kunsan, Rice recalled a Facebook post he made asking anyone who had been at the Wolf Pack to show their awards, decorations and plaques so that those who made them could see how far these treasured items had traveled.

“It’s amazing how far these creations have gone around the world,” added Rice. “It's part of their memories–their time here. They're proud of it and they put it on a wall, that's significant to me. Everybody who comes to Kunsan takes something with them when they leave.”

While much of their work is focused on mementos, they also dedicate time to fostering an environment where Airmen can express their creativity themselves.

“The meat and potatoes of what we do is making plaques, trophies and going away items, but we also host classes,” added Rice. “The most popular are the Paint N’ Sip classes. When people try [painting], they learn it's not so difficult to do and they can bring out their inner Bob Ross.”

While Airmen channel their inner Bob Ross via painting classes, they can also express themselves in pyrography, candle making or 3-D pen art classes. If neither option is appealing, the Recreation Center also boasts a stocked woodshop for do-it-yourself projects. The team is always open to creative suggestions on what classes to offer next, added Choe.

Thousands of people pass through their doors each year. Whether it's for an award or a funny farewell, the team is devoted to helping members leave with a memory of their time at Kunsan. For more information about the Arts and Crafts Center and the services available, please call 315-782-6904 — discover the creative place.