St. Elmo Village

Located in Los Angeles, St. Elmo Village is a place for creating and exploring, for sharing and attaining, for teaching and learning, for children and elders. The multicultural artistic community runs art workshops, festivals and numerous programs. Our Transatlantic Symposium group was invited to see the artists’ home workshops and the collection of mixed media works, which combine paint, ink, collage, photographs, and found objects. We were also ivited to make our own collages using ribbons, bits of colored or handmade papers, as well as various objects found everyday. It was a great opportunity to find our own inner child again. Yet, one of the things which greatly corresponded to the theme of our trip was community, and how crucial it was in order to fully withstand calamities and face everyday challenges. The village was built by various people who devoted their whole selves to create this place “where the love is made visible through the work” – as the founder, Roderick Sykes, said. Each plant, flower, cactus in the village was planted by the members of the community. Community which was doomed for failure from the very beginning. Yet working together made them strong, made them survive. And just like those cacti, people in the village have withstood harsh conditions, while retaining their singular beauty and peaceful grace.

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