Sedona Arts Center Media Alert

Announcing An Afternoon at Eliphante

Sedona Arts Center offering opportunity to get to know Eliphante!

April 8, 2016
Sedona Arts Center
Kelli Klymenko, Marketing Manager
(928) 282-3809

Sedona Arts Center Offering An Afternoon at Eliphante 
Guided Tour to the Hand-made Creative Environment Set for May 6 

Sedona Arts Center continues to develop a diverse mix of creative opportunities and new cultural programming. The nonprofit organization recently announced its latest event, An Afternoon at Eliphante. Developed in partnership with the board and caretakers of the Cornville site, the May 6 event will offer a guided tour to the hand-made creative environment built over three decades by artist Michael Kahn.

"We love the extraordinary, the unique, the highly creative, and Eliphante is all of the above," said Arts Center executive director Eric Holowacz. "And so we are planning an entire afternoon to learn about and explore its remarkable sense of place."

Eliphante is a 3.26 acre arts preserve on the banks of Oak Creek. It was hand-built over 28 years under the vision of artist Michael Kahn, with the help of his wife Leda Livant-Kahn, and remains today as sculptural village unlike any other. 

"The environment is made out of harvested, found, and gifted materials, and follows Michael's unique aesthetic," said caretaker and Eliphante board member, Jessica Laurel Reese. "He took the motifs of his paintings and translated them into a third dimension, transforming natural features such as stone and river wood into surreal, fluid, cavern-like structures, all coated in high-vibrational colors." 

Over 28 years, Kahn built the main structures, with the help of his wife and friends, which began with the half subterranean experimental building, Eliphante. That was followed by the art gallery, Pipedreams; and then his primary living space, Hippodome.  In between the buildings, he installed stone paths and green astroturf that cuts through the natural and sculpted environment. 


"I made my first visit to Eliphante about three months ago, and it was like entering the mind of a genius, where new worlds were possible, and where we were invited in to enjoy the wonders and forget the real world for awhile," said Holowacz. "And yet it is also unassuming, literally down to earth, and a genuine expression of an artist's vision and invention." 

During the most active years of Eliphante, the Cornville landscape became a magical environment—full of spontaneous social interaction and creative gatherings that are fondly recalled by those who attended. The uniqueness of Eliphante also drew attention from afar, with coverage in The New York TimesArizona Highways, The Arizona Republic, The Noise, and has been listed in the Smithsonian Institution's Save Outdoor Sculpture initiative.  

Following Michael Kahn's death in 2007, volunteer caretakers and a dedicated nonprofit organization stepped in and are now working to preserve and restore Eliphante. Many will be on hand during the Arts Center's May 6 tour to educate participants about the history and vision of the place.  

The tour will begin at Sedona Arts Center at noon, with a welcome by Eliphante board members and a screening of a 45-minute documentary film about Michael Kahn and his vision for Eliphante. Then participants will board a bus to Cornville to explore the unique hand-made environment along Oak Creek. The group will return to the Arts Center in time for the First Friday reception that evening. 

"We are truly looking forward to welcoming Arts Center members and new creative people to the site," said Reese. "and hope they find as much enchantment and sense of wonder as we do."

Those interested in An Afternoon at Eliphante should contact Sedona Arts Center at 282-3809. Tickets are $45 for bus tour and $30 for those who wish to self-drive or car pool. The event includes a lifetime membership in the Eliphante organization, so participants can return as guests to visit the site and continue to support its preservation.  


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For Media Information, including interview requests and photo opportunities, please contact Kelli Klymenko, Marketing Manager, at (928) 282-3809 or click here.  

An Afternoon at Eliphante 
Sedona Arts Center Tour
Friday May 6 from Noon to 4pm

$45 Tour and Bus transportation (limited to first 14 people)
$30  Self-drive / car pool (No bus transport)

To reserve a place at An Afternoon at Eliphante, please contact Sedona Arts Center at 282-3809. The event includes a lifetime membership in the Eliphante organization, so participants can return as guests to visit the site and continue to support its preservation.

About Sedona Arts Center

One of Northern Arizona's first cultural nonprofits, Sedona Arts Center was founded in 1958. Our organization now serves as the creative hub of the Verde Valley, with year-round arts opportunities, an open door for creative people and ideas, and new initiatives like Sedona Ukulele Posse, VOC Arts Annex, Sedona Peace Paper Project, and this excursion to Eliphante.

The Arts Center offers workshops and classes, exhibitions and gallery projects, and year-round cultural programming from its expanded Uptown campus. We also present innovative collaborative projects like Loving Bowls, the 12 x 12 Project, Plein Air festivals, and arts education outreach to schools like Monument Valley High.

Thank you—from your friends at Sedona Arts Center—for helping us expand this wonderful creative hub.  

Copyright © 2016 Sedona Arts Center

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To arrange additional press coverage, interviews, or photo opportunities, please contact Kelli Klymenko at Sedona Arts Center: 282-3809 or click here

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