It’s hard to sum up in a few sentences what East Jesus is and why you need to plan a trip to this majestic place. This is especially true if you’re an artist or a photographer like me.
Personally to me East Jesus was an artistic awakening that inspired and motivated me to think outside of the box and pushed me to experience life and art in a new manner. It was by far one of my favorite places EVER!!! I went there 2-3 times because it’s just so remarkably unique and breathtaking.
Throughout my West Coast travels I’ve never been to or found a place as peculiar or creatively inspiring as East Jesus and I probably never will!
Here is how East Jesus rose to creation:
East Jesus lies less than a mile past the legendary bastion of southern California folk art, Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain. Charlie Russell, the founder of East Jesus, initially came to the area to work alongside Knight, and quickly became enamoured with the idea of “The Last Free Place.”
East Jesus has become an off-the-grid exhibition space where artists come from around the world to seek refuge and express their art using found materials. You know like the saying goes “one mans trash is another mans treasure,” well this is the philosophy of East Jesus. They up-cycle/recycle found materials to make unimaginably beautiful and whimsical art that is both provoking and simply fun to experience.
Instead of wasting your time by writing a million paragraphs I’m going to share my experience of East Jesus with you through my Photography. That is, after I share the directions to get there because you know your going to be packing your bags and planning your next weekend trip here!
The great thing about traveling to East Jesus is that it’s literally off the grid! You can find it in Niland California in a little community called Slab City. Slab City is a alternative living community as well as a free campsite area. People live in VW mini Vans, old military tanks, you name it and you’ll find it there!
How I got to East Jesus was by traveling from San Diego to Palm Springs (about 1.5-2hr drive) then from Palm Springs I drove a little over two hours east towards Arizona to the small town of Niland.
East Jesus is technically in Niland, but it’s not. Your probably like “what the hell is she talking about?!” Ok. So once your in Niland you head towards Salvation Mountain (don’t worry I will be posting about this place later) after you pass Salvation Mountain keep going and you’ll see a sign for Slab City ( it’s not what you think a city is, it’s an improvised community) keep driving to the end of this road and a folk art sign will say “East Jesus to your left!. At this point you’ll start to notice all the cool quirky artwork, next thing you know your in East Jesus! YAY!
I honestly loved the charm of the city and how off-beat it was. I wanted soo badly to stay there for a few nights but I didn’t because I was too scared of the scorpions. And also because my family was convinced it was a cult. Their uber conservative Canadians. But trust me it’s in no way shape or form a cult. It’s friendly artists and hippies who love life and art.
For those of you wanting to visit East Jesus I’ll share the address and a map at the bottom of the blog along with information on how to contact them and their social media accounts.
For more information on East Jesus you can find it here on their website: http://eastjesus.org/about/
Check out and like East Jesus Facebook Page to find out current events and art installations presently happening. If your interested in supporting East Jesus you can contribute to their Land Purchase Fund, and protect East Jesus!
[They] currently have the opportunity to purchase the land East Jesus sits on. [They] must raise $90,000, or [they] risk having the land leased out from under us. Help [them] preserve and protect East Jesus with a tax-deductible gift.
Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about visiting East Jesus and please share your experience or any photos you may have of your trip.
Kayla Logan PR