The Chillicothe Area Arts Council presented two week-end shows with Doyle Dykes, an international, award-winning American thumb-picking guitarist.

The Chillicothe Area Arts Council presented two week-end shows with Doyle Dykes, an international, award-winning American thumb-picking guitarist. The Arts Council’s newest signature “Event at Locust & Ann” featured Dykes Saturday evening at the Cultural Corner Art Guild & Gallery. “We didn’t have a full house but guests for the evening were treated to sweet and savory appetizers prepared by Pam Miller, an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful artwork on display at the gallery, and an opportunity to meet Mr. Dykes, before settling in to a 90-minute performance ‘up close’ by Doyle,” said Arts Council Administrator Mary Lou VanDeventer. She noted that a couple from the St. Louis area called the arts office Saturday morning to inquire about Dykes’ schedule in Chillicothe, noting that they had learned about the Chillicothe venue via Dykes’ Facebook page. The man stated that he had been a fan and had followed Dykes since he was a young boy. He then asked whether he would get to visit with the musician and watch him up close. When VanDeventer said “most certainly!” he said “we’ll be there.” Dykes took time before and after his show getting to know his fans. “His passion for God, country, music and people was obvious,” VanDeventer said. The guest artist was introduced by Arts board member Margaret Vance who also serves on the Board of the Arts Guild, a sister organization of the Arts Council. Other Arts Council Board members attending the event were Adam Mast and Don Wilhoit, who both commented on the excellent musicianship and warmth of Doyle Dykes. “Most all of the guests commented that they felt as though he was performing just to them and added the venue was beautiful and created a perfect, intimate setting,” VanDeventer said. The Sunday season show performance at the Gary Dickinson PAC, as advertised, was a totally different program enjoyed by all who attended, VanDeventer said. Several fans of Dykes traveled some distance to see him perform. A group of five college-age students came from the Kansas City area, a couple from Osceola, Iowa, and two of Doyle’s long-time friends flew into the Chillicothe Airport and were shuttled to the PAC. Many of those who came to Sunday’s performance also attended the Saturday evening event as well. The two scheduled performances made Dykes’ visit possible. “The only way we could bring an artist like Doyle Dykes to our event at the Cultural Corner Art Guild and Gallery, was to piggy-back with his season performance,” VanDeventer said. “After having heard Doyle on RFD’s Larry’s Country Diner” a couple of years ago, I knew folks in our area would enjoy his music as much as I did so I reached out to him and he said “Yes” and that he would welcome the opportunity to perform in Chillicothe.” Long-time supporters of the Chillicothe Fine Arts Council, Paul and Betty Steele, shared their experience with VanDeventer and the Arts board. “This was our first time to attend the “Event at Locust and Ann” and it far exceeded anything we had expected,” they said. “We haven’t experienced a better evening of a total entertainment package anywhere in the world, and we really mean that. It truly was a whole package. Getting to view the current Cultural Corner art projects, always so creative and interesting, enjoying good food, being in a setting where we could visit with old friends and meet new people – all this, plus the greatest treat which was being so close to one of the most outstanding musician-artists we have seen. “Doyle Dykes was not only a musical artist, he was a most personable, engaging entertainer,” the Steeles said. “We did attend both Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, and even though we would have been happy to hear the same repertoire again, since it was so good, he did perform a totally different program, making both events even more special. The Steeles were complimentary of the format and venue with the “Locust and Ann” idea. “We enjoy attending the Fine Arts Council events at the Dickinson PAC, which is a wonderful space; however, it is quite another experience to be close enough that you almost feel you are in your own living room with friends, enjoying this incredible musicianship,” the Steeles said. “We are already looking forward to the next Event at Locust and Ann.”