Creativity comes from a place within. It has the power to heal the deepest wounds by transforming immense pain into raw beauty. When we create, something in each of us comes alive. It allows us to reach past the mundane to produce exquisite masterpieces. So many of us have wandered away from creative and meaningful pastimes- when what we need is a little more creativity in our lives and a little less of the repetitive, ordinary routine.

Nestled just beneath the Panola Mountain State Park is the up and coming Rockdale Art Farm. RAF is a non-profit organization dedicated to being a vibrant and creative art and community workshop space and also being a resource to pursue individual artistic and entrepreneurial goals through shared space with a fun relaxed and diverse group of supporters.

Joe Eifrid, the founder of Rockdale Art Farm, is an example of how in the midst of painful, unexpected circumstances, a dream can be born. In 2014, two separate tragic accidents took the lives of precious family members. His daughter and granddaughter died in a house fire. His daughter in law died in a car accident.  All three were passionate about art and nature, and so his dream for RAF was formed in their honor.

The land is rich with memories and relics of the past, and Joe intends to preserve the area. At one time, the location was an old dairy farm, and you can still see old milk trucks on the property. Joe also said he finds old milk bottles sitting by a tree and said he could envision someone sitting by a tree drinking milk out of the bottle. He said, “The woods are part of the concept…” of RAF. While pointing out the past and the future of the property, you could hear the desire in his voice for this dream to become a reality.

The unique location of the property places it right in the center of a natural wonderland- ideal for artistic inspiration. Panola Mountain Park is next door to the RAF property, and there is a scenic walking/biking trail. The 30-mile trail, built by the PATH Foundation, goes from Lithonia to the Monastery and runs directly beside the property of the Rockdale Art Farm. In the future, it will be possible to take a biking trip and make a stop at RAF. There are beautiful parks and unlimited scenes along the way to get the creative juices flowing.

The Rockdale Art Farm plans to be membership driven. They will be offering programs involving youth skill development, art therapy and resource classes for retirees. These programs will help teach essential life skills such as communication, responsibility, and self-expression.

Joe Eifrid and the Rockdale Art Farm can use your support and the support of the community. Joe has received support letters from the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance, and Georgia State Parks (Panola Mountain State Park). If you are interested in helping RAF as it develops, please send a letter of support to Joe@RockdaleArtFarm.org. The final BOC voting session to approve the Rockdale Art Farm is on Tuesday, October 9th! The Board of Commissioners is asking for more letters of support! Let’s make Rockdale Art Farm a reality in our community by showing your support!