PALMER — Mat-Su College is hosting its ninth annual Machetanz Art Festival Friday to Saturday on campus.

This annual tradition aims to connect Valley residents with local artists and locally made art for two days of workshops, viewing and appreciation for art for art’s sake in the name of Fred and Sara Machetanz.

“It’s just a nice way to make the connection to a local artist and promote the arts,” MSC Director Talis Colberg said. “This event allows us to honor the Machetanz family, who were such important parts of this institution from the very beginning, while sharing their passion for arts with our community.”

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This two-day series will feature numerous one and two-day workshops covering a variety of mediums and disciplines, from intermediate water color painting to digital photography.

Colberg noted there is a new feature to the festival this year, an art walk. During the art walk, Participating artists will show their works within the bridge from the main entrance to Snodgrass Hall. The art walk runs from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Fred Machetanz was a famous Palmer-based artist and his wife Sara was a notable author, particularly for her children’s books. The two were known to work together and published many books and works over the years on top of supporting other creative efforts in their community.

These historic figures have been gone for over a decade but their legacy is alive and well with several places, the college included, naming facilities after them.

“This event allows us to honor the Machetanz family, who were such important parts of this institution from the very beginning, while sharing their passion for arts with our community” Colberg said.

When the famous couple died, they left their historic property to the college. Colberg said they’re the only campus with several originals of Fred’s paintings because of their close connection.

He said that he had the chance to get know both of them and said they were very kind hearted folks who’s legacy reaches far beyond this festival and can be seen across the Valley. Their support for the arts in the community has helped organizations like Valley Performing Arts, and their lasting influence has even prompted an elementary to name their school after them.

“I think they would appreciate it. They were very, very nice people who were very community minded…. There’s traces of their influence all over the place,” Colberg said.

Space for workshops is limited, to preregister, visit: https://registermsc.asapconnected.com. Early and day-of registration is also available by stopping into campus store, Campus Cache. Questions can be de directed to 745-9775 or tkjeffress@alaska.edu.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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