The present moment
is all that’s between the past and the future.
Tucked between Oak Creek and the historic land scattered with art and sculptures, rests an amazing three-acre art installation in a small town in Arizona, named Cornville. Even though the name is “corny”, this little town has some brilliant history and interesting attractions. Eliphante, a sculptural village, the creative inspiration of Michael Kahn and Leda Livant, is among them.
This was a hard-to-find, one-of-a-kind treasure, but worth the hunt. Literally, you have to cross the creek to get to the property, and I don’t mean using a bridge. My van was up to its hub caps in water. We drove a short distance up a hill and parked on the grass where we were greeted by our guide who gave us a brief history of Eliphante.
In the late ’70’s, Sedona residents, Leda Levant and Michael Kahn met a couple in Cornville who owned property along Oak Creek. Michael and Leda were invited to be the caretakers and being the artist that he was, Michael began painting, transforming and building structures in vibrant colors with whatever he could find to use for materials.
For 28 years, together Michael and Leda built structures, without explanation to the designs. Some were sub-structures, while others were experimental, sculpted and whimsical. The largest structure eventually turned out to look like the head and trunk of an elephant, hence the name. Outside artists would also come in to help with their magical and spontaneous creations.
Michael passed away in 2007 and Leda now resides in a nearby town. Today Eliphante is a non-profit organization and the fantasy is shared and inspires visitors and residents who come to visit. Don’t miss this artistic treasure if you are in the area.