The Mat-Su Valley is home to many notable Alaska artists, from Shane Lamb to Gail Niebrugge. This weekend, however, artists from around the state will convene at Mat-Su College for the fifth-annual Machetanz Arts Festival, a showcase for art in all forms.

From June 2-5, featured artist Dean Larson will be giving workshops and presentations on landscape and figurative painting. Larson is a nationally recognized artist with long Valley roots. He grew up in Palmer and is the son of the late Alaska Rep. Ron Larson, who was a long-time supporter and adjunct of Mat-Su College. Larson's teachings include lessons from Fred Machetanz, one of Alaska's famed artists.

The Machetanz Arts Festival is more than just about that singular workshop, however. Throughout the week, hands-on workshops cover a wide variety of subjects, from silk scarf painting to poetry to drawing and digital photography. There are workshops that also cover embossing and print making, raku firing and even freestyle egg painting.

You don't have to be an artists to participate though. All of the workshops include the instruction from noted artists from around Alaska, as well as all the supplies needed.

The festival runs through June 7, when two showings of independent films in the new Glenn Massay Theatre brings it to a close.

For more information, interested artists can visit