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Unveiling the Estelle Center for Creative Arts: Igniting Passion and Fostering Creativity

January 2024 | Center News
by Marilyn Heywood Paige

Wouldn't it be great if there was a place where you could go to explore your creativity? A place that nurtures your creative journey and connects you with like-minded people who can support and collaborate with you? And wouldn’t it be even better if that place was in a delightful, artsy small town with a slower pace and friendly faces? If that town were nestled in a picturesque valley surrounded by mountain wilderness, it would be even more amazing. 
Yes, it would. That's why Jennifer Peterson founded the Estelle Center for Creative Arts in La Veta, Colorado. Jennifer, an avid quilter, first experienced the joy of creative expression in her grandmother Estelle’s art studio. It was the one place she felt free from the demands of productivity and connected to her inner artist. Playing with art causes the soul to flourish, brings about healing, and builds a stronger character.
Since her early years, Jennifer has always wanted to find a place where she can relive those moments in her grandmother's studio and share the joy of creative exploration and collaboration with others. The Estelle Center for Creative Arts is her dream come true.
Here, we outline the center’s mission, how it came to be, and Jennifer’s long-term vision for the center. 

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The Estelle Center Mission

The Estelle Center is committed to fostering a community where creativity flourishes. At the heart of the Estelle Center's mission is a dedication to cultivating creativity and artistic expression across various disciplines. 
Our mission is to offer a beautiful, collaborative, welcoming space where creative journeys are cherished and people experience self-discovery, self-compassion, and joy.
The center focuses on fiber arts such as quilting, embroidery, knitting; paper crafts such as book binding, junk journaling, and collage; most painting disciplines; jewelry making; photography; singer/song writer workshops as well as cooking and baking classes. Through the diverse range of programs, workshops, and events, the Estelle Center seeks to inspire a passion for the arts while fostering a sense of community among participants.

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The Center Building

The Estelle Center’s building once housed Ricky Tim’s quilting empire, and it was through Ricky that Jennifer learned that the building was becoming available. She recognized the opportunity to continue his arts legacy, purchased the space, and began renovating. The street level creative space is complete and the upstairs suite of guest rooms is under construction. Jennifer hopes to complete the upstairs project in late 2024. 

Our Executive Director

Every good arts center needs a dedicated director and Jennifer found that in Sunshine Caulfield, a La Veta resident with deep ties to the artist community. Sunshine plays a key role in creating a welcoming space for the community, artists, and art instructors as she coordinates activities. 

La Veta Artist Community

La Veta means “the vein” in Spanish, which may be a reference to its beginnings as a supply town, transporting products from nearby farms and ranches. Today, it is the vein of the arts, as the town is a designated Colorado Creative District, and there are several artists and galleries who call it home. 
The Colorado Creative Districts program certifies communities that contribute to Colorado’s economy through creativity, culture, and the arts. Increasing jobs, incomes, and investments in creative places is the primary goal of the program. A creative district designation differentiates La Veta and the Estelle Center from other arts organizations and artsy towns. As do the cozy shops, restaurants, and galleries that line the downtown district. With a population of under 900 people, chances are, you’ll make friends with the locals and look forward to visiting again and again. 

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The Center's Vision

Jennifer didn’t shy away from a big vision in founding the center. It’s a beautiful statement of what our lives can be when we lead with creativity. 
We live in a peaceful, joyful world where productivity is measured in collaboration and creativity.
The vision of the Estelle Center for Creative Arts is one of a vibrant and diverse artistic community that serves as a catalyst for innovation and self-discovery. 

Fostering Creativity and Collaboration

Collaboration is a cornerstone of the Estelle Center’s vision. We seek partnerships with artists, art instructors, artist guilds, and arts organizations. Our first floor has an exhibit space where we can show many types of works, so consider hosting your art show at the Estelle Center.
The arts have the power to transform and bring people together, opening up a world of infinite possibilities. We hope you will soon join us at the Estelle Center for a workshop, retreat, or art show and help us bring our mission and vision to life.