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A?new beginning

October 25, 2011
By ZACH KUKKONEN - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

MOHAWK - With the hiring of a new executive director in the summer after founder and long-time executive director Carol Rose stepped down, Keweenaw Krayons has begun a new era.

Elise Matz, the new executive director for the nonprofit organization, is working to point KK in the right direction. She has started with the re-introduction of open studio, one of the founding principles Keweenaw Krayons was built on.

"I'm really excited to bring back open studio," Matz said. "It's offered Thursdays from 4 to 6:30 (p.m.) and Saturdays from noon to 2 (p.m.), and people can make whatever they want."

When Keweenaw Krayons moved to its studio at the Horizons Alternative High School, open studio slowly disappeared and it is something Matz wants to bring back for artists and families. Open studio can be a safe place for parents to bring their kids to make art, and is open to everyone.

"We have a lot of art materials that can be used," Matz said.

An array of classes are also being offered at Keweenaw Krayons. A handful of classes featuring crayons and their uses beyond just drawing are available, with free "Crayon Crafts" taught by Diana Langdon and Rachel Tober taking place every Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. through Dec. 5. There will also be a realistic crayon drawing workshop series starting in December.

"You can create really masterful looking drawings with crayons," Matz said.

Guitar lessons, mosaic classes and even artist trading cards sessions are also in the near future for KK. Those interested can see a full schedule of events and register online for classes or get more information at or by calling 934-3824.

Keweenaw Krayons is just one of the several organizations in the area promoting the spread of art beyond the classroom. As October, which is National Arts and Humanities Month, winds down, Matz is thankful to live in such an artistic area.

"There are a lot of wonderful artists in the area giving a lot of their time to help the arts," Matz said. "I feel blessed to live in an area like this."

For more information on National Arts and Humanities Month, visit



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