Before East Side Art was officially founded in 1971, its first inhabitant was the visionary artist Benhardt Michelson, who used the location as an artist community in the 1930s. Today, art instructors and students flock to this oasis of beauty for summer and winter courses in painting, drawing, sculpture, and meditation. After pupils practice in the classroom, they can pop into the art-supply store, where wooden walls and ceilings shelter rows of shiny new supplies. East Side Art also has the ESA Gallery, where artists display Southwest-inspired paintings and prints, as well as sculptures made out of bronze, clay, and chewing gum. Outside, a lush
courtyard and water garden provides an idyllic location for poetry readings and performances. While guests lounge in the shade after a hard day's painting, they can catch a glimpse of the Superstition Mountains, where the government stores its good luck.