Monday, December 17, 2012

Arts at Mackinac Island High School

Since 2004, Mackinac Arts Council (MAC) has supported the art and music programs at Mackinac Island Public School (MIPS) (K-12). This year, as a part of the continuing support, MAC raised $5,000 for art and music supplies, and I (Lily Porter) am working with Heather May, the Art & Music teacher to further develop the visual arts program.

Over the past couple months, I have greatly enjoyed working with Heather and the five high school students. We are constructing a curriculum covering the basics of visual arts at the high school level. The program began in October with the drawing unit. I decided to start the class with drawing because it is fundamental to most other forms of visual art. Over the past couple months, they have learned about the Elements and Principles of Art and Design, blind contour line drawing, drawing a still life from observation, charcoal drawing and reduction techniques, and 1- and 2-point perspective drawing. These lessons have helped their observational skills, analyzing and articulating works of art, hand-eye coordination, experience with different drawing materials, and an understanding of such elements as value, line, shape, and proportion.

This coming Thursday, at 7:00pm there will be a Christmas concert performed by the Mackinac Island Public School students in the school gym. 
Perspective drawing by Justin Acosta.

Perspective drawing by Meadow Greenlee.

Perspective drawing by Shanon Blanton.
Perspective drawing by Will Barnwell. 

Perspective drawing by Adrienne Rilenge. 

Demonstration of contour line drawing of a bicycle.
Students making blind contour line drawings.
Students working on perspective drawings of the hallway.
Students working on perspective drawings of the hallway.
Still life from observation by Adrienne Rilenge.
Still life from observation by Shannon Blanton. 
Still life from observation by Will Barnwell. 
Still life from observation by Meadow Greenlee.
Still life from observation by Justin Acosta.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Susan Sarback, Margaret Dyer Workshops

Susan Sarback, Oil
Mackinac Arts Council is proud to announce that we will be hosting two multiple-day workshops in 2013. Susan Sarback, master oil painter from the School of Light and Color is coming to Mackinac in August to teach a four-day workshop on plein air painting. Students will go out to different locations around the island to paint onsite and receive personal instruction from Susan.

Margaret Dyer, Pastel
In September 2013, Margaret Dyer, master pastelist will teach a three-day workshop in pastels. Don't worry--for you Drop-in-and-Draw lovers, we will continue our biweekly 2-hour art workshops at the Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum in July and early August on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We have some wonderful instructors lined up to teach workshops in watercolor, collage, drawing, jewelry, photography and more!

 If you're interested in taking these classes:

Susan Sarback, Plein Air Oil Painting:
August 12-15, 2013. 9am-4pm. Adults. Four-day outdoor painting workshop. $525/member. $575/non-member. For more information, contact Lily Porter at or (906) 984-4124.

Margaret Dyer, Pastels:
September 9-11, 9am-4pm. Adults. Three-day pastel workshop. $300/member. $350/non-member. For more information, contact Lily Porter at or (906) 984-4124.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall Happenings

It's a beautiful fall up here on the Great Turtle, and Mackinac Arts Council is already busy getting ready for the 2013 season! We have written grants to Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Mackinac Island Community Foundation, and a Letter of Inquiry to ArtPlace America. These grants request funding for operations, professional development, supplies, and equipment. The grant decisions will be announced in early January.

The line up of musicians for our series Music in the Park is coming together. We will have seven outdoor concerts on the lawn of Marquette Park featuring 11 Michigan artists. Be sure to keep an eye out for our calendar, you won't want to miss next year's concerts!

We have some great artists instructors preparing to teach for Workshops at the Museum next year. Jennifer Powell of St. Ignace, MI, and former resident of Mackinac Island, will teach "Colorful Collage," a class on paper collage. Jennifer wrote and illustrated the children's book "What I saw on Mackinac." Her beautiful collage work can be seen in this book. Nicki Griffith will be teaching a workshop on pastels. Nicki lives on Mackinac and is part of the artist group, The Mackinac Seven. We will also have return instructors Bill Murcko and Rosemary Gould. Bill will teach live figure drawing of people dressed in historic costume. A two-day workshop on metal jewelery making will be taught by Rosemary. We still have available spots if you are an artist and would like to teach a class. Please send us an email if you are interested.

Want to be added to our mailing list? Easy. Just sign up here.

Stay tuned for more updates throughout the winter!

The Mackinac Arts Council creates, supports, and promotes the arts to enrich the lives of people visiting, working, and living on Mackinac Island. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Award Winning Slide Guitarist Kraig Kenning Performs for Music in the Park

Kraig Kenning | Mackinac Island Music Festival
photo by Kate Levy |
Marquette Park is the place to be at 8pm, Thursday, August 5th when slide guitarist Kraig Kenning takes the stage at the Father Marquette Memorial. Call him contemporary folk, blues, roots rock, American Fingerstyle or Americana. With airplay on 40 stations nationwide, and selling 60,000+ recordings of six self-produced CDs, Kenning has shaped himself into one of the most capable slide guitar performers we know. "There is an exchange at a spiritual level in a great performance. My goal is to journey with all my listeners to this magical place." Together with his trademark dobro and passionate lyrics, Kraig reminds us just how personal--and potent--original music can be.

His electrifying stage presence has been honed over 20 years as a live performer throughout the U.S. At National Guitar's 1st Annual Slide Competition, Kraig took first place honors as Best Unsigned Artist. He has opened for Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, and slide guitar master Sonny Landreth; and he has shared lineups with club and folk series favorites such as John Gorka and Patti Larkin. His skills have also found a rewarding second home in the blues arena as part of an acoustic duo with noted bluesman Steve Arvey. It's a pairing that not only swept crowds off their feet at Chicago's renowned annual Blues Fest, but also resulted in critical praise and worldwide airplay for their collaborative "Pass the Hat" CD.

Watch Video 

According to Blues Review Magazine, "The vocals are sincere and pure while the strumming, slide and pickin' are top-shelf."While there is a distinctly affecting quality to Kenning's sound, his warmth and wisdom have helped create a universal appeal. He transmits his own brand of special through one of the broadest range of venue bookings in the business. Kraig has played some of the nation's largest, most respected music festivals, as well as classic clubs like the Vic and Fitzgeralds in Chicago. At the same time, he has also taken traditionally smaller gigs to heart, and expanded his venue selection to include public library auditoriums, state parks and nature sanctuaries. "Those kinds of shows become a real 'mini-concert' and I would not sell them short. The atmosphere is intimate, and the environment is conducive to my music and my lifestyle." And Kraig's enthusiasm for the outdoor is common knowledge among fans. "The kinds of audiences who dig me know that I love being in those places with them. I camp there myself, and we create something special every time. Imagine being in the middle of nowhere, at a beautiful state park, enjoying live music by the light of a campfire and tiki torches. I hope I can continue to do even more of those kinds of shows on my journey."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Music in the Park features Drew Nelson

Musician Drew Nelson performs for Music in the Park at 8pm, July 19, 2012.
Michigan-born Navy veteran Drew Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multiinstrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles.
Drew has toured across North America and Europe, performing solo and opening for popular rock artists like Melissa Etheridge and Edwin McCain as well as esteemed folk singers like Josh White Jr. and John Gorka.
He first met John Gorka in 2006, when Drew performed as part of Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s prestigious songwriting contest. John found him backstage after his performance and told him how much his songs moved him. Since then, Drew has shared the stage with John several times, including at such big events as the Kerrville Folk Festival. “Drew Nelson is one of my favorite new artists,” John Gorka says. “His songs sound like the rest of us feel….dazed, angry, amazed and climbing.”
Drew garnered further attention in 2009, when he released Dusty Road to Beulah Land (Waterbug Records), and it topped the folk radio charts. It also caught the attention of the Grammy-winning indie label Red House
Records, which just signed him. “I love that Drew can rock out as well as write sensitive ballads,” Red House president Eric Peltoniemi says. “I admire his down-to-earth songwriting which portrays our world and ordinary people with such deep feeling and unflinching clarity. He has worked hard in life and hasn’t been afraid to get his hands dirty. He has 100% credibility in the subject matter he writes about, and I’m excited to get the chance to work with him.”
Drew’s Red House debut Tilt-A-Whirl comes out in early 2012. He can also be heard on the new album Dark River: Songs of the Civil War Era, along with Jon Dee Graham, Slaid Cleaves, James McMurtry and new label-mate Eliza Gilkyson.
In support of his new album, Drew Nelson will be showcasing at the 2012 International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis and will be touring across North America and Europe.
When Drew is not on the road, he enjoys reading, rooting for the Detroit Tigers, doing hot yoga and working as an amateur luthier, building guitars and octave mandolins. He is also working on putting together a photography show.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Have You Heard?

Mackinac Arts Council has so much to offer island residents and visitors alike. Currently on display at our beautiful library is the Maritime Art Exhibition which features original maritime art from artists across the country. It is a lovely collection of maritime inspired art in a variety of mediums. Viewing it in the library with the lake breeze blowing in and sound of waves upon the shore could not be more perfect.  If one piece moves you so much that you find you are stopping in at the library frequently to gaze upon it, the good news is that pieces are available for sale with delivery occurring July 31st at the end of the show. Proceeds benefit the library and Mackinac Arts Council programming.

During the Chicago-Mackinac Yacht races, there will be special activities for children.  Paint the Finish, as it is called, will be held at Windemere Point on Monday, July 23 from 12 noon to 4:00 pm.  Everyone welcome!

The Music in the Park series continues every Thursday at 8:00 pm until August 2nd. What a peaceful setting for beautiful music -- it soothes your soul and inspires you!

Also occurring on August 2nd is a special one-time event in 2012 -- a free outdoor movie in Marquette Park beginning after Music in the Park at 9:40 pm or so. The Mackinac Arts Council is offering this family friendly event to all. We will be showing a collection of Pixar shorts -- creative, fun, and unique! Bring the kids, a blanket, snacks and enjoy this special evening! The backup location in case of rain will be the Community Hall.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mackinac Arts Council Drawing I Workshop with Bill Murcko

Born and educated in Michigan, Bill has spent most of his career as an award winning advertising and creative executive. He has loved the arts his whole life. A strong desire to improve his portrait painting skills drove him to enroll in his first formal oil painting class - at age 48. Murcko's formal art instruction continued with the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Association and workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico with the Academy of Realist Art from Seattle, Washington.  In 1996, he was selected for a special tutoring program in New York City conducted by nationally known portrait painter, John Howard Sanden. Today, Bill splits his time between Detroit and Mackinac Island.

7pm-9pm, July 10, 2012
Drawing I Workshop with Bill Murcko at the Richard & Jane Manoogian Mackinac Island Art Museum.
All levels welcome. Adults.  Live models dressed in period costume. Model fee $10.  Supplies provided.

To Register call: (231) 984-4124 or email

For more about Bill Murcko, please visit

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Guitarist Lawrence Barris featured at Music in the Park

On July 5, Music in the Park features celebrated smooth jazz guitarist Larry Barris. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he started playing guitar at a very young age, began working professionally in and around Detroit at the age of 13, with "The Black Nasty," a well known local R &B Group. Recorded a couple singles with The Black Nasty on the Big Hit label. Larry shares "my first paid gig was with the group, and comedian Rudy Ray Moore. This was before Dolomite came out. The band was on stage while he was doing his act, bringing him on and off. His act was very crude. My mother and sister were in the audience. He notices my mother and says "hey a white lady is here" and he's about to say something else, I was sitting on top of my Kustom amp and I yelled "Thats My Mother" he turned around and looked at me and didn't say another word about her. It was a memorable first gig. Around the same time, I was practicing a lot and working on pop tunes like, Roberta Flacks's "Feel Like Making Love", Marvin Gaye's " What Goin' On " and The Isley Brothers " For the Love of You", turning them into instrumentals on guitar "I thought I was doing something new."
What today is called smooth jazz". Shortly thereafter started working with Detroit Jazz Greats, Marcus Belgrave,Teddy Harris, Donald Walden, Dennis Rowland, Wendell Harrison, Bobby Wright and Rod Lumpkin. Also worked, and/or performed with artists of national acclaim, including George Benson, Mary Wilson & The Supremes, Ben E. King, The 5th Dimension, George Burns, Joan Rivers, Earl Klugh, Joe Sample, Richard 'Groove' Holmes, Jack McDuff, Dave McMurray, Fabian, Little Anthony & the Imperials, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks and more. 2001 was the release of his self titled first CD and 2003 he released Love on Me. 8pm-9pm, Thursday, July 5-Marquette Park, Mackinac Island (rain location is Horn's Gaslight Bar)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Seth & May featured at Music in the Park

Samuel Seth Bernard and May Erlewine are Michigan-based contemporary folk musicians and are the featured performers for the Mackinac Arts Council Music in the Park summer concert series. Their show takes place from 8pm-9pm, Thursday, June 28, 2012 in Marquette Park overlooking the straits of Mackinac (rain location, Horn's Bar).

Both born and raised in Michigan to musical families with a firm independent streak, Bernard and Erlewine first met in 2003, when he was a performer at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival (using the name Seth Barnard) and she was attending. Both Bernard and Erlewine had a strong background in songwriting and performing and had tastes that ran from folk and blues to rock, and they soon became partners in music (and later a couple).

In 2003, Erlewine (as Daisy May, a nickname she'd had since childhood) cut her first album for Earthwork Music, the independent label affiliated with his family's collective farm that had already released two discs by Bernard. In early 2006, they released their first collaborative LP through Earthwork, simply called Seth Bernard and Daisy May, which followed several years of live performances as a duo. Along with other artists affiliated with the Earthwork Collective, Bernard and Erlewine were perennial attractions at the farm's annual Harvest Gathering, a music festival devoted to local independent artists and responsible, earth-friendly activism.

Bernard and Erlewine have also been part of the musical and environmental activist community in the Midwest, and have taken their message across the country and beyond the U.S. border, participating in educational workshops with native musicians in Mexico in 2008. In 2009, Erlewine opted to stop calling herself Daisy May in favor of May Erlewine, and Bernard embraced his birth name, Samuel Seth Bernard, and they used their new/old names for their second collaborative album, Welcome Back.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mackinac Arts Council June Events

Mackinac Arts Council Events: June 2012 

 June 21 8pm, Music in the Park feat. The Mickeys in beautiful Marquette Park 

Amy Sherman and Julie Peebles are a compelling musical duo. Identical twins, this striking twosome blends Americana, Country and Folk music well and are outstanding. We are pleased to kick off our summer concert series by welcoming The Mickey's back to Mackinac Island. 

Listen here:

June 28 8pm, Music in the Park feat. Seth & May, Marquette Park 

This Northern Michigan duo harmonizes beautifully and believes music should bring people together. Like the best folk musicians, they have the ability to convey stories through music captivating the audience at every turn. Playing venues from the folk institution, The Ark in Ann Arbor to Garrison Keillor's "A Prarie Home Companion," we invite you to witness what we know will be a stellar showcase. 

Listen here:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Music in the Park Review

Please find this lovely review of our Music in the Park series from last summer

"Do you share the feeling to tell the world when you unexpectedly stumble across something so special that you can’t wait to relive the experience again and again?
Well, my “something so special” took place last summer on beautiful Mackinac Island…

After weeks of planning a unique and family-friendly vacation, we made it to Mackinac.
My family was finishing a wonderful evening bike ride, listening to the sounds of the gulls and loons over the lake, the water lapping along the shore…sounds that signal the quiet and comfort of the sun readying for sunset. We pulled into town to have dinner along the water when we saw the hustling of people toward Marquette Park.

This park is beautifully positioned in the heart of downtown, at the base of historic Fort Mackinac. A prominent statue in tribute to Father Marquette, a Great Lakes explorer, stands tall at the center of the park, overlooking the harbor. What we saw and what we began to hear was the transformation of a lovely day on the island to one that made my family feel at ease as we were welcomed as part of this community.

Blankets and lawn chairs covered the lawn surrounding the revered statue. Picnics had been spread (many of which had been thoughtfully assembled by island restaurants or Doud’s Market). As if in a movie, the show started as the sun began to set. Music flowed…live folk with rock, country, and blues….a feeling of true Americana. We sat on the lawn and became immersed in the whole experience. We sang along to songs we knew, and engaged in conversation with others.

We are so happy to know that this summer of 2012, Music in the Park continues on Thursday evenings on Mackinac Island. We got on for the complete listing of concerts and artists for this summer. Wow, the magic of Mackinac Island continues for us. Can’t wait to be a part of the magic again! See you soon MI!"

~KF Family

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Join Us

Join Us

Celebrating the creativity and boundless potential and value of every person. The Mackinac Arts Council’s mission is to collaborate with arts and other like minded organizations. We promote creativity through arts programs and activities, which enrich the quality of life for all Mackinac Island residents, students, employees and guests visiting the Island. The Mackinac Arts Council is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

Join Now
Pay your membership now with MasterCard, Visa, Paypal through our Secure Paypal Account

You may also mail a check made out to Mackinac Arts Council with the memo "membership" to:

Mackinac Arts Council
P.O. Box 1834
Mackinac Island, MI 49757

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Richard & Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum Gold Medal Call For Entries Announced

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Mackinac State Historic Parks in conjunction with the  Mackinac Arts Council announces an Art Exhibition at The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum at the Indian Dormitory on Mackinac Island, Michigan. The theme for the competition is “Mackinac’s Grand Hotel.” This exhibition is open to all media, including photography, paint, sculpture and others to all living artists nationally and internationally (18 years of age and older).

A panel of jurors will select a  Best of Show, second and third place, and three honorable mention awardees from the pieces displayed in the exhibition.  The winner will receive The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum Gold Medal and a $5,000 cash prize. Their name will be on the list of annual Gold Medal winners, which is displayed at the museum. Cash prizes for second and third place are $2,500 and $1,500 respectively and there will be three $500 honorable mention awards. All prizes are donated by the Mackinac Arts Council. Winners will be announced at the June 27, 2012 awards ceremony.

The Details
Artwork will be chosen by a panel of jurists and displayed to the public from May 11, 2012 until closing on October 7, 2012. From October 8 – October 31, 2012, the exhibition will be open to tour groups during various dates.

Download the entry form here. Entries must be postmarked by April 2, 2012.