05-30-12-artcontest.jpgThe hands that fix engines, care for children, type reports and solve the world’s everyday problems are also hands that create beauty, transform raw materials and inspire others through artwork.

For those in the military community who are artists at heart, submissions for the 2012 Army Arts and Crafts contest are being accepted now through June 30. Army Family Morale Welfare Recreation sponsors the contest, which is open to all active or retired soldiers, spouses and children of active or retired soldiers and Department of Defense employees.

The artwork categories are: ceramics, drawings, fi bers and textiles, glass, metals and jewelry, paintings, mixed media, wood and digital art. In each category, there is a novice and an accomplished group. All home hobbyists who have not had formal art training or education are encouraged to enter their work.

“It’s a way for the military community to be given a creative outlet and a chance to display their work and show what people can do,” said Sara Matherly, manager of Frame & Design Arts on Fort Bragg.

“This event also gives us the opportunity to bring awareness about the classes being offered by the Frame & Design Arts Shop for our military community,” Matherly said. On post the shop offers classes on woodworking, clay and metal sculpting, jewelry making and more. Classes will be forming soon to teach knitting and crocheting.

Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Torello won first place for his “Chain Table” in the mixed-media 3D category, last year. Torello welded chains, a forklift wheel and other scrap parts to create the table that is both functional and beautiful.

“I like taking raw materials and taking it to the extreme,” Torello said. “It’s about trying to make things that can be a center of attention or conversation piece while maintaining functionality.”

To submit artwork in the contest, an online profi le form must be filled out and photos of the artwork submitted. Submissions are gathered online and judged by a minimum of three experts. Awards will be given for first, second, third and honorable mentions. The contest begins on the garrison level. Winning pieces from each category will go to the regional level and then Army level. Cash prizes are awarded at the Army level.

In July, all of the entries from Fort Bragg will be displayed at the Throckmorton Library.

Last year more than 25 artists submitted work. Each artist is allowed to submit three items per category.

“There is just so much talent out there in the community, this is a way to highlight it,” Matherly said. “The entries have been breathtaking in the past and we are looking forward to seeing the artwork this year.”

For more information about the 2012 Army Arts and Crafts contest contact the Frame & Design Arts or visit www.armymwr.com for guidelines and registration. All participants must have an AKO email account to access the web-based program and verify eligibility to participate.

Photo: Chain Table won first place last year in Fort Bragg’s Army Arts and Crafts Contest. 

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