St. Elmo Village: Celebrating the Art of Creative Survival

St. Elmo Village will always hold a place that is near and dear to my heart. An artist colony tucked deep in the heart of L.A, it’s an oasis of bright colors, art and several varieties of cactus. St. Elmo Village, or “the Village”, offers children and adult workshops and they are very unique in that uninhibited, creative freedom is encouraged.

“Art lessons” aren’t directed or taught–participants are merely given the materials necessary to explore the world of color and form. This place of free-flowing creativity will always be special to me not only because of the way they encourage creativity, but because my husband Michael grew up there.

Good memories here.

As a young kid in the Mid City area of L.A, he stumbled across the Village during one of his everyday explorations as a little kid climbing trees and fences. When he happened upon this place, he discovered a koi pond with coins glittering at the bottom. Naturally, he dipped his little arm into the water and tried to fish them out, thinking of fun times at the local arcade. Roderick Sykes, the director of St. Elmo Village, saw his inquisitive nature and reached out to him and gave him a project to do–the rest is history. From that moment on, Michael has always looked to Rod as a mentor and father-figure.

I will always appreciate how the Village gave my husband a safe place to explore his creativity. They loved him. They gave him a chance. They nurtured his creativity. And they’ve done this for so many people, adults and children alike, for the past 45 years.

Michael was a tenant at the Village from 1995-1997 and he also volunteered in the workshops for several years. This is where he was living when we started dating. Needless to say, I was instantly charmed by the place, the people, the philosophy behind the Village. Now that we’re an old married couple with six of our own kids, we go back to the Village when we can. I wish we lived closer. I think we all do–my kids love St. Elmo Village too.

To remedy this, I try to share about St. Elmo Village every chance I get. They will be celebrating the Village’s 45th anniversary this weekend, on May 24 and 25, from 12-6pm. You should totally go because I can’t–we have our annual family camping trip down in San Diego. Bummer. Go and experience a place of love, light and creativity and help support this place which has been going strong in the community for 45 years!

Nothing is safe from the paintbrush at the Village. The result? A colorful, unique space.
The painted floor and table inside the workshop space.
The office.
I painted this abstract breastfeeding woman back in 1998 when that was my everyday identity (can you see it?). Mama still looks good.
When you drive by and see all the bright colors, you know you’re at St. Elmo Village.
Large paintings like this can be found all over the Village.

Visit St. Elmo Village at 4830 St Elmo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90019

St. Elmo Village: Celebrating the Art of Creative Survival

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St. Elmo Village: Celebrating the Art of Creative Survival

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