Carlene Ho Craft Center tribute fitting to the personality in her work

Adjacent to the Craft Center is a huddle of women. Some hold a glass and all wrap their arms around each other and bow their heads in tribute to their friend Carlene Ho.

The volume is loud but the music is soft, as people either shift to the Ben Linder Room to watch a slide show of Ho with friends, or to the University Craft Center to make two-by-two tiles made of wood, metal, glass shards and ceramics, all in tribute to their friend.

Jessi Steward, associate director of the [email protected]@[email protected]@, was in charge of the event. Steward never met Ho, but could see how important she was to others.

“(Ho) meant a lot to the Craft Center. I could see the positive impact with the people she was with in the center,” Steward said.

People sporadically went to the slide show. One of the slides included some of her artwork — a longboard with a stencil design of a ram leaping over three triangles, with three stems on top. This design was also featured on various posters on some of the EMU first-floor walls.

More slides included her big yellow sunglasses and another one of Ho riding a bear statue, backwards.

“She was like a light, she was real easy to be friends with,” said an emotional Jessica Byers, a friend of Ho’s. “I just knew she had more to do and more to offer. She was very creative.”

Some people at the Craft Center had smiles and some stayed with their head down, but all of them worked on tiles and discussed some of their favorite works of Ho.

Jeff Weitzel was Ho’s supervisor and for a while had Ho’s longbow — which everyone called “legit” — hung in his office until her parents picked it up.

“She would just come in to the office and just sit there and smile,” Weitzel said.

Two of Ho’s coworkers, University students Kari [email protected]@[email protected]@ and Goen [email protected]@[email protected]@ reminisce about her eagle-eye stickers that she printed of the Mill Race Printing Facility. Ho gave her stickers to her coworkers. Some placed the stickers into the sketchbooks that traveled abroad with them, which reflected on their “all-seeing” design.

“She was super-vivacious, and was always rooting for you,” Coleman said. “It was really surprising at how good she was, but afterwards, more inspiring. She also loved Sour Patch Kids.”

“I still feel she is going to come back,” Kim said.

Other pieces her coworkers discussed were Ho’s ceramic chocolate-covered donuts. Ho loved the materials used including the coating, “Glazing Chocolate.” Ho’s friends joked that the finished product looked like real donuts.

The event succeeded as a tribute to Ho. People who didn’t know her personally visited to pay tribute.

“I came here for a good celebration,” guest Janet Tang said. “We need to cherish our life to go on.”

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