GRAYLING – The AuSable Artisan Village (AAV) in downtown Grayling was created in 2011 by a group of volunteers under the leadership of artist Terry Dickinson. Its mission is to support art and cultural activities that enrich lives, stimulate creativity and serve as a catalyst for artistic excellence throughout northern Michigan.
The gallery, located at 219 Michigan Avenue and staffed totally by volunteers, is normally open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week and offers for sale many types of artistic and creative pieces by more than 60 different artists. In addition, the AAV offers classes for adults and students, free concerts and improv performances and an open studio space.
“I am pleasantly surprised at the number of visitors who are awed by the AAV as a gallery and a venue,” said Tina Foster, AAV volunteer. “So many people are amazed at the creative stage room, the wonderful Creativity Center classroom, the metal work of the doors and the variety and excellence of all the artists. We have a great location near good food and drink offerings and across from the Main Branch Gallery and Tip ‘n the Mitten.”
The Artisan Village has grown throughout the past seven years, thanks to its supporters and its partnership with Paddle Hard Brewery as well as a very successful Patronicity crowd-funding drive that helped complete the Creativity Center and “made the lower level of the building useable and remarkable,” said Foster.
Concerts are typically presented on the third Wednesday evening of each month, and Gits and Shiggles, a comedy improv group under the leadership of Chad Patterson, normally performs monthly on the second Thursday.
An open studio for painters and other artists is offered on Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Students bring their own art supplies, work with the medium of their choice in the AAV creative space, experiment with new media, and receive feedback from fellow artists.
Thus far in 2018, the AAV has offered 37 classes for both children and adults covering music, writing, photography, theater, drawing, painting, other art media and crafts. Classes for December and 2019 are being planned.
The Creativity Center classroom and the stage area can be rented for private events, classes and parties. Anyone interested can inquire at the gallery for specific information and forms.
The AAV is now accepting 2019 memberships. An individual membership is $20, and a family membership is $35, but “Extra Mile” donations are also welcome.
For more information on classes, events, and AAV, go to www.artisanvillage.org or follow them on Facebook.