The Elkhart Art League has been a non-profit organization for over 85 years. Local artists started the Art League because they were passionate about art. They moved around to several different locations until it became firmly planted in the High Dive Park. It can be found at 511 Baldwin St. in Elkhart, Indiana.
The location is a beautiful setting of ponds that flow into the Elkhart River. In the early 1900s it was an elite hot spot frequented by local socialites who would gather in boats on the river on the same property where the park still is today.
Locals would bring their children to swim in the park fifty years ago. Many of us remember the sandy beach, the lighthouse tower, and the little waterfall that we would sit under and let the water flow over us. Today it is not fit for swimming, but many come to wade, picnic or fish in the waters.
Thanks to the funding of the Elkhart Parks Department, the Elkhart Art League is still in operation. There were several different old buildings on the grounds over the last fifteen years that have been demolished due to disrepair. The building that the Art League is in used to be the old dressing rooms for swimmers in the park. The Elkhart Parks Department keeps the parking lots plowed in the winter so that the Elkhart Art League and park visitors can still visit and have adequate parking. They maintain the grounds and the beautiful flowers and plants as well.
The Elkhart Art League pays a very minimal fee to rent the building on a yearly basis. We pay utilities and the Elkhart Parks Department maintains the building for us. The art teachers and students are very grateful to them for their generosity. Because of them we are able to provide the area with art classes and art shows and other events including some generous scholarships to students that otherwise would not be able to take classes.
We offer everything from watercolor, pastel, and pottery classes. There are also mini-workshops, including well known teachers such as a nationally known watercolor artist Stephen Blackburn. He is loyal to the Art League where he taught in the past before he reached national fame. He has taught workshops all over the world and still has taught local workshops for a fraction of the prices that he receives in other areas.
I am one of his former students and still teach watercolor classes at the Elkhart Art League today. Phil Monteith who is a member of the American Pastel Artists teaches pastels during the school seasons every Tuesday morning. I studied under him for many years. He as well as Steve Blackburn has won many regional art awards at the Midwest Museum of American Art.
Our art classes are inspiring, educational, and a lot of fun. You will make new friends and experience a bond unlike any other. Many of us have made and kept friends for years because of the Elkhart Art League.
Please visit the Elkhart Art League web site and learn more about the unbelievably reasonable prices for classes and show entries. The Elkhart Art League usually has two art shows a year. There is one coming up in November, please be sure to check out their web site for more information.
Membership is only $25.00 a year, which includes reduced prices on all classes for the year.
Regular watercolor, pastel, drawing and watercolor classes are only $65.00 for 8 weeks, each class lasts 3 hours long. Pottery is more expensive because of firing, glazes and clay costs. They are still only $90.00 for 8 weeks if you are a member.
The Elkhart Art League often offers children’s classes through the year as well.
The Elkhart Art League is located at 511 Baldwin Street in Elkhart, Indiana
You can visit them at www.ealonline.org for more information or call 574-264-1810