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HomeArts & EntertainmentPlaying at AAV gallery stage Celtic group, Blackthorn

Playing at AAV gallery stage Celtic group, Blackthorn

GRAYLING – AuSable Artisan Village (AAV) announces upcoming events and classes that will be held at their gallery in Grayling.

Blackthorn concert:

AuSable Artisan Village welcomes well-known Celtic group, Blackthorn, to the gallery stage on Sunday, March 15, at 7 p.m.

Blackthorn’s rich tapestry of music includes traditional and contemporary Irish songs and lively jigs and reels. Each of the five members plays multiple instruments that complement the lead vocalist and Belfast native, Richard McMullan, and the band’s tight blend of four-part harmony. Based in Detroit, Blackthorn has been performing throughout the Great Lakes region since 1984.


“This is the first of four ticketed concerts to be hosted at the AAV in 2020. Additional concerts are being booked for May, September and November,” said Terry Dickinson, AAV director. “Artisan Village seeks to expand the art and cultural experience in the Grayling region. The ticketed events will allow us to reach beyond our regional artists and bring a variety of acts from their national and world tours.”

Free concerts:

Free concerts continue on the second Thursday of each even-numbered month, starting Feb. 13, featuring musician Mike Ridley.

Based in Indian River, Ridley is known throughout Michigan as a great musician, storyteller and entertainer.


AAV’s improvisational comedy group, Gits and Shiggles, performs on the second Thursday of the odd-numbered months.

is currently running his third Intro to Improv class on the gallery stage.

“We have a great new crop of performers who are learning the basics of improv,” said Patterson. “They will be in class for seven weeks, and it will culminate with a final exam onstage with the current members of AAV’s resident troupe on Thursday, March 12, from 7 to 9 p.m.”

Patterson invites the public to “come in, have a beer and enjoy some great, funny entertainment from our newest members as we celebrate their graduation and the three-year anniversary of our first show.”

Crawford County United Way, Crawford AuSable Soccer Association, Grayling Band Boosters, Grayling Youth Booster Club, Children’s Assessment Center, Huron Pines, Community Thanksgiving Dinner and Grayling High School Players.

The current improv group members include Jordan Ault, John Bawol, Abby Ertel, Mary Goodhall, Kevin Jansen, Roger Walsh and Jeremiah Welsh. The newest members are Joe LaGattuta, Rachel Latusek, Ann Malm and Meagan Malm.

Winter art classes:

AAV also offers several art classes this winter. Registration is easy on the website: Go to artisanvillageclasses.coursestorm.com/browse and click on the course that interests you in order to sign up. Upcoming courses include:

CREATE A LIMERICK FOR ST. PADDY’S DAY, a class for adults taught by Cathy Lester, Saturday, March 14, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The cost is $10.

Lester will review the essential elements of limericks – those popular five-line poems everyone knows – and then participants will have fun creating their own comic verses. All needed materials will be supplied.

DRAWING CLASS FOR KIDS, taught by Sherry Graziano, runs for three Saturdays – March 7, 14 and 21 – from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $60.

Live models – a dog, a tortoise and a bunny – will make this class a fun and easy way for youngsters to learn to draw. They will be taught to identify basic shapes and put them together to make their animals come alive.

Graziano is an experienced teacher of young children. She knows how to initiate positive drawing habits and how to extend their skills as children grow. And, by bringing in her own pets as models, she makes the hour fly by, increasing interest and fun.

Summertime stage:

During the course, students will develop a performance that they will present after Thursday’s class. The cost is $25.

Patterson will call on his 20 years of experience working with theatre students of all ages to offer an interactive experience that includes writing, improv, acting and backstage work to give students a wonderful introduction to the stage that will hopefully spark a lifelong love of theatre.

Great Northern Art Explosion 2020

The second Great Northern Art Explosion will be open for artist entries April 1 through June 30. The art show will open to the public Aug. 8, and conclude with an awards ceremony Aug. 23, at 2 p.m. People’s choice voting will end at 5 p.m. Aug. 22.

In 2019, 120 works of art created by 75 artists were submitted to the Great Northern Art Explosion. Artwork was hung in several venues in downtown Grayling, and Artisan Village received over 1,400 ballots for the $1,500 “people’s choice” award that went to Jason Glicker. Bruce Winslow, retired director of the Midland Center for the Arts, also presented four $500 awards in different categories of art.

The 2020 committee, composed of representatives from Artisan Village, Main Branch Gallery and The Old Lumberyard Shoppes, has explored ideas that they hope will double the impact of last year’s event.

“The committee is exploring a significant increase in both the people’s choice award and the juried awards to attract more artists and raise the stakes for public voting,” said Dickinson.

Membership drive:

aavart.org/membership.html to become a member or renew a membership.

AAV members receive a 5% discount on gallery purchases, invitations to members-only events and quarterly newsletters, and premier member donors are honored with personalized plaques displayed prominently in the gallery.

from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.


and Up North Voice are Northern Michigan’s source for community news.

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Up North Voice is a division of AuSable Media Group, LLC, based at 709 Lake Street in Roscommon.

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UpNorthVoice.com is Northern Michigan's source for community news.

We cover seven counties including Crawford, Roscommon, Oscoda, Ogemaw, Iosco, Arenac and Montmorency counties in print and / or online.

We are also a full-service commercial design and printing house. Our specialty is custom commercial printing, as well as the creation of clothing, cups and other marketing products.

To submit information for publication, or for questions regarding promotion of your business through web or print, as well as promotional items such as hats or cups, please email info@UpNorthVoice.com, or call 989-275-1170.

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