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Joshua Tree National Park Juried Art Exhibition 2015

Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition 2015 had yet another an overwhelming response to the Call for Art Entries. This year's juried art exhibition received 247 entries from 100 artists across the globe. Selected for the exhibition were 52 artists from California, the United States, and Canada, whose artwork depicts or is inspired by the natural beauty and/or cultural history of Joshua Tree National Park.

Recipient of the JTNP Artist of Distinction Award 2015


Kelly Booth - Vallejo, California
Book artist and printmaker Kelly Booth lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her artworks have been shown internationally at venues that include SFMOMA Artist’s Gallery in San Francisco; Kala Art Institute in Berkeley; the Brooklyn Art Library in Brooklyn; and Tails of the City art auction in San Francisco, where she was designated “Creative Visionary.” She has served as Artist-In-Residence in Joshua Tree National Park, Buffalo National River, and Kala Art Institute. An alumnus of Rhode Island School of Design, her drawings and sculptures have been published in the Ann Arbor News, RISD Works, and Spirals 91. She is also a graphic designer, art director, and creative director who specializes in image-driven content creation. Her design work has graced the pages of national magazines and appeared at events such as the Academy Awards and the Sundance Film Festival. Her current role is Creative Director at Weldon Owen Publishing in San Francisco. www.ninepointedstar.com

Recipient of the Second Place Award 2015


Valerie M. Birkhoff - Grass Valley, California

Valerie Messervy Birkhoff gained an appreciation for the natural world after spending 15 years building and living in a straw bale house in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico, and by teaching outdoor education/ minimal impact to students. She graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Arts and Letters in 1990. Her past working experience includes: Modern Dance, Theater, Modeling, Business, Teaching, and Emergency Medical Response. Her art has developed through personal cultivation and interacting with other artists. She has begun showing her work in three basic mediums: beaded sculpture, mixed media, and oil painting. Her inspiration comes from nature and the interaction humans have on it. www.valsworth.com


Recipient of the Third Place & Superintendent's Award 2015

"Shade in the Oasis"

Jeffrey Skelly - Sunland, California
Southern California artist Jeff Skelly graduated from Cal State Northridge in 1989 and continued his studies at the California Art Institute and UCLA. With 20+ years of experience and widely collected on three continents, Skelly continues to find expression in the beauty of the natural world. He has exhibited in the Palm Springs Art Museum, the National Arts Club in New York, and other juried shows. In 2013, he was awarded first place at the Yosemite Renaissance XXVIII competition at Yosemite Museum in Yosemite National Park. “As a child, my most memorable experiences were on summer camping trips to the Sierras. The vast landscapes, towering peaks, and stunning beauty left lasting impressions. Over time I learned how to merge that love of nature with my desire to create. With the use of bold brushwork and unique color harmonies, my paintings are not only faithful representations of places I’ve been but spiritual impressions as well.” www.jeffskellyart.com

Recipient of the Fourth Place Award 2015

"Kiss the Sky"

Barbara Spiller - Yucca Valley, California
Barbara Spiller’s work is represented in private collections in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California, and has been placed in meditation rooms and chapels in hospitals, including St. John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, CA, and the Meditation Room, University of San Francisco Hospital. She has shown extensively at The Atlantic Gallery in Brooklyn and Soho, NY, and was in group shows in the Bronx Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Dayton Art Institute. She is currently exhibiting at Joshua Tree Art Gallery. Each piece of her painted canvas in the rock collages was part of a different painting at another time. “I scavenge among my earlier works, using the physical elements as ‘raw material,’ putting them to new use, new meaning, in a new context. Thus, these works exist in their own geologic time.” Her inspiration comes from: “Rocks. Their shapes, colors, surfaces, fissures. And the ways they fit together, fall together, lean, and balance. Their gritty history, silently held.” www.barbaraspillerart.com

Recipient of a 2015 Honorable Mention

"Lost Horse Valley"

Jessica L. Bryant - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Originally from Rosemount, MN, during high school Jessica Bryant won art competition awards locally, regionally, and nationally. While earning a B.A. in American Studies at the University of Minnesota, she studied art and specialized in drawing. After college she moved to Coeur d’Alene, ID, and produced commissioned pieces. Formal watercolor instruction began in 2007 under Richard Becker in Palo Alto, CA, and continued in 2008 in Coeur d’Alene with Stan Miller, AWS. Bryant currently paints in her home/studio and teaches fine art to local students. Recent awards include publication in the North Light Books series Splash 17: Inspiring Subjects (July 2016), selection as a finalist in Artists Magazine’s 2014 Annual Art Competition, and selection into the 146th Annual International Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society. Her work has been displayed in the historic Salmagundi Art Club in New York, NY. Bryant also has served as Artist-in-Residence at Badlands National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. www.jessicabryant.com

Recipient of a 2015 Honorable Mention

"Flaming Boulders"

John Van Vliet - Joshua Tree, California
John Van Vliet has worked in graphics, animation, and feature film visual effects for more than 35 years. He studied art at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and at California Institute of the Arts Character Animation (Disney) program. In 1977, he was hired to work at Industrial Light & Magic (a division of Lucasfilm) where he contributed to The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Dragonslayer. Disney recruited him to work on TRON as the lead animator where he designed many signature effects shots in the movie. He also owned an independent visual effects company for 18 years and was involved with over 70 film projects, including Ghost, Mortal Kombat, Tales From the Crypt, Ghostbusters, and X-Men. Now semi-retired from the motion picture business, he lectures at film schools, consults on film projects for visual effects, and spends time pursuing his art and photography while wandering the deserts of the Southwest. www.bentpictures.com

 Art Exposition 2015 Featured Artists

"Arid Awakening"

Allyson Adkisson - Pearland, Texas
A resident of the Houston area and 20 years old, Allyson Adkisson is currently earing her degree in the hopes of becoming an art teacher. She is a student at the University of Houston, Clear Lake, with a major in Visual Arts with EC-12 certification. She loves to paint, draw, and do crafts of all kinds, and her favorite media to use are India ink pens and watercolors. “I have visited Joshua Tree National Park two times, and it holds a very special place in my heart,” says the young artist. “I’m always incredibly inspired by the desert environment, and I find that I’m able to draw endless inspiration from the mountains and the abundant cacti.”

"Where the Mojave &
Colorado Deserts Meet"

Robert Arnett - Glendora, California
Plein-air artist Robert Arnett’s fascination with art developed early in life when he won second place in a monster drawing contest on the Doodles Weaver Show on TV in the 1950s. Receiving an oil painting kit that Christmas sealed the deal. After an AA degree at Mount San Antonio College, he landed his first job with a silk screen printing firm and spent the next 35 years in a career of design, print making, and competitive creativity. Some 25 years ago he found his passion for landscape painting and has made a name for himself in the Mojave Desert art colony of Wonder Valley, where abandoned homesteads and their historic role has driven him to document their existence before the harsh environment reclaims them. A native Californian, Arnett studied at Otis Art Institute, Scottsdale Artists School, and is a member of the California Art Club, Oil Painters of America, Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, and 29 Palms Artists’ Guild. www.RobertArnettFineArt.com

"Split Rock Hiker"

Suzy Beal - Tujunga, California
A native Californian and “citizen scientist,” painter and writer Suzy Beal is drawn to national and state parks as a source of inspiration, peace, research, and magic, considering them the “crown jewels” of America’s true wealth. A frequent visitor to national parks, California state parks, county parks and wilderness preserves, she visits Joshua Tree National Park about ten times per year with her travel buddy to hike, camp, visit new trails, photograph everything, observe wildlife and water patterns, examine soil samples and take notes on erosion and plant use of water. Her graphic art is created with acrylics and pastels on art paper, based on photography and sketches, in addition to prints on canvas, manipulated with oil paint, and hand-pulled silkscreen prints. Beal is a multi-talented artist and longtime contributing writer and illustrator for the LA Times, Los Angeles Magazine, L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles guide books, TV and movie props/graphics, storyboards, music videos, record companies, movie posters, and more.

"Pinto Moon Rising"

Penelope Benson-Wright - Twentynine Palms, California
Penelope Benson-Wright has been working in clay for more than 40 years. She focused on Raku ceramic sculpture, vessels, and glazed ceramics following her four-year residency and apprenticeship as a potter in Japan. After multiple art studios and careers, she recently achieved her life-long goal of moving to California and relocated from her native New York State to Twentynine Palms. The diversity of the state’s natural environments, shorelines, national parks, mountains, and deserts inspired her use of the Raku firing process to create vessels and abstract ceramic sculptures -- using clay, minerals, fire, and found objects from the natural world. She has exhibited her work at galleries in Japan, New York City, and Saratoga Springs, NY where she taught Japanese Ceramics and Culture at Skidmore College. She received her BA in Theater/Art and MA in Art from the University at Albany, State University of New York.

”Nimble Jack”

Wayne Brezinka - Old Hickory, Tennessee
Born in 1968 in Minneapolis, MN, Wayne Brezinka of Nashville, TN, has been gaining national acclaim for his detailed mixed media and assemblage work using discarded and re-purposed materials. Los Angeles Times writer Wesley Bausmith calls his work “sophisticated.” The Boston Globe’s Heather Hopp-Bruce says it’s “beautifully crafted.” His work has been featured in and commissioned by the New York Times, Neiman Marcus, the Johnny Cash family, The Washington Post, and Deloitte University Press, among others. His work allows viewers to engage their imagination in the stories told within each complex piece. Brezinka’s work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Nashville, Indiana, and Washington, D.C. His most recent exhibition is “Paper Cuts” at O’More College of Design. The artist’s “Lincoln” work is currently on loan for an exhibition at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., and will soon be added to The Smithsonian Institution Catalog of American Portraits Documentation and Research Center. www.brezinkadesign.com

”A Rough Patch of Ground”

Linda Brown - Claremont, California
Linda Brown, a Southern California native, grew up with equal passions for nature and art. Becoming a professional landscape artist was inevitable. Essentially self-taught in the basics of oil painting, she studied the light and color in the works of early California artists and later studied with contemporary masters such as Ralph Oberg, Matt Smith, Skip Whitcomb, and Kathleen Dunphy. In a style described as “painterly realism,” she seeks to capture the feeling of a place beyond the obvious details. Her paintings emphasize the effects of light and atmosphere, and celebrate all the varied colors and textures found in nature. Her favorite subjects include the yet unspoiled landscapes of the Western U.S., especially the mountains, deserts, and coast of California. Brown has exhibited in national juried exhibitions and invitational museum shows, and her paintings hang in collections throughout the Western U.S. She is a member of the California Art Club.  www.LindaBrownArt.com

”Big Horn Dreams”

Chuck Caplinger - Twentynine Palms, California
Chuck Caplinger’s art career dates back to the 1960s with Tech Productions and RCA Service Co., which held the graphics contract with NASA at George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He also worked as illustrator and art director of Space Concepts, serving NASA Director Dr. Wernher von Braun’s R&D Dept. Returning to Houston in 1965, Caplinger worked in design and illustration, began his “Hollywood Faces” series of celebrity portraits, and in 1979 relocated to Hollywood to work with Lone Star Pictures Intl. In 1987, he married actress Holgie Forrester, and in 1997, they moved to Twentynine Palms and established Desert Art Studio & Gallery in their dome home next to Joshua Tree National Park, where he creates oil paintings of desert landscapes and wildlife, portraits, and murals throughout California and Texas. His work has been featured in Southwest Art, the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, and at the Edward-Dean Museum with bronzes by Russell and Remington. www.desertartstudio.com

”Family Gatherings”

Larry James Carpenter - San Marcos, California
Veteran photographer, artist, and educator Larry James Carpenter of San Marcos, CA, says of himself: “I’m Light & Story … Wiiild.” He has spent the last 40-something years passionately chasing light and shadow with camera in hand. He left college in the 1970s, a film and photography and all-things-art major, to travel the world as a Navy Diver and Marine Recon Battalion photographer. He has worked as a web and graphic designer, and has spent countless hours sequestered away in darkrooms, working with both black-and-white and color, film and digital photography. Bryant says of his work, “I have spent years delighting in the perfecting of the many varied crafts of field work. I continue my studies; pushing my post-processing, personal vision and field crafts.” His work in this exhibition has a background image shot on the April 2014 full lunar eclipse, with added multi image foreground sets and multiple exposures. www.larryjamescarpenter.com

”Barker Dam Sunrise”

Matt Collins - Joshua Tree, California
Matt Collins is an outdoor enthusiast and professional photographer. He has lived in Joshua Tree with his family for 10 years. “I like to get in the park as much as I can,” he says. “There is always something new or unique to find.” His artwork in this year’s exhibition is from Barker Dam in Joshua Tree National Park, where he often goes to experience and capture the look of water in the desert terrain. “This particular morning I was fortunate to get their early and capture the colors. It does not last long.” The print is 16 x 24 Acrylic metallic HD. www.solidphoto.com

”Storm Over Jumbo Rocks”

Janis Commentz - Yucca Valley, California
Janis Commentz is a Southern California native who grew up near the coast and began drawing and painting early in life. As the daughter of an artist, she was surrounded by art materials and enjoyed trips to galleries and museums, and trips to Laguna Beach and Carmel. At the University of Redlands, she earned a B.A. in Art and English and studied with John Nava, well-known for his tapestries at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. Commentz moved to the Mojave Desert in 1977 to teach high school art and English. She holds an M.A. in Education from California State University at San Bernardino. Retired in 2012, she now pursues art full-time, facilitates weekly life drawing sessions in Joshua Tree, and teaches youth classes. Commentz exhibits regularly at desert galleries, as well as T.E. Studios in Riverside, and has participated in the Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours for six years. www.janiscommentz.com

”Boulders Talking #1”

Jane Culp - Anza, California
With a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and an MFA from Yale Art School, then post grad life-drawing sessions at the New York Studio School, artist Jane Culp’s early work was heavily influenced by life drawing from the figure, while her studio painting was rooted in the concerns of Abstract Expressionism. In the last 30 years, these concerns for communicating painted emotional presence have translated into working landscape paintings within wilderness areas through artist residencies in national parks, Maine Boundary Islands, and in the high desert of her Southern California home. Culp’s exhibitions have ranged from New York City to Riverside Art Museum and Palm Springs Art Museum. In 2015, her work is at the Ansel Adams Gallery, Yosemite National Park, in an exhibit honoring Yosemite painters; and in plein-air landscape exhibitions in Pennsylvania and Ireland. Culp’s work also appears in “Art of the National Parks: Historic Connections, Contemporary Interpretations.” www.janeculpart.com


Bill Dahl - Yucca Valley, California
Bill Dahl’s passion for photography began in the 1970s, when he borrowed a camera from a friend and roamed the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, creating images. He moved to Santa Barbara, CA, in 1973, where he worked as a hardware and software designer. Dahl is now retired and makes his home in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park. Creating evocative images with black and white photography is his passion, and his photographs have appeared in juried shows and won awards in Santa Barbara, Ojai, Yucca Valley, and Twentynine Palms. He is a member of the Twentynine Palms Art Gallery and participates in the annual Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours. His photographs appear in five books: “Shared Visions,” “Shared Visions II,” “In the Mojave,” “Desert Dweller,” and “Mythic Rockscapes: Barker Dam Trail, Joshua Tree National Park,” available at www.blurb.com. www.billdahlphotography.com 

”California Desert Rose”

Romina Del Castillo - Long Beach, California
Romina Del Castillo of Long Beach spent the first half of her life alternating between lives in Santiago de Chile, and Lima, Peru, where she was conceived. She was accredited as an artist and citizen in the United States of America. She constructs three-dimensional humanoid figures using charcoals on two-dimensional paper. The paper is thick, textured, and the size of a flat screen TV on the showroom floor at Best Buy. Sometimes she adds color with colored chalks, pastels, and other mixed media. Del Castillo portrays people. Some people call these portrayals, portraits, while others may see them as narratives. Nevertheless, they are undoubtedly windows into the multiplicity of realities from which each viewer can perceive and thereby conclude, as fact, their own reality through the interpretation of her art. www.rominadelcastillo.com 


Doug Dolde - Joshua Tree, California
Doug Dolde has been photographing the landscape of the American West since 2001. He has worked with both 4x5 transparency film and currently uses a medium format digital system. His work has won awards at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, Sedona Arts Center, and 2012 Best of Nature Show at the San Diego Museum of Natural History. In addition to printing his own work, he handcrafts his frames from tropical hardwoods such as Macassar Ebony, Cocobolo Rosewood, and Padauk. Dolde considers a total work-flow from capturing the image to framing the finished print as essential in producing a fine art piece of the highest quality possible. He has donated pieces for auction at the annual Prem Rawat Foundation Golf Tournament and Fundraiser and continues to support this important work. Philosophically he considers himself as an observer rather than a creator. The creation is already present. It just needs to be captured at its best and brought to light. www.douglasdolde.com

”Desert Rams, Barker Dam"

David Flatt - Vancouver, British Columbia
British Columbia artist David Flatt says his time spent in the wild places of North America is his inspiration. “Each rare encounter with wildlife informs my work. Observation reveals the appearance, habitat, and behavior of each subject. In the end my goal is to produce a piece that reflects these experiences and that I can share with the world. My paintings begin with an idea or inspiration loosely planned over an idea of composition and colors. …The refining continues until the result holds some truth of the encounter.” Flatt’s work is in the permanent collection of Brookfield Place, Toronto, and in private collections in Canada and the United Kingdom. He was a finalist, British Columbia Wildlife Federation, Artist of the Year, in 2007 and 2014. He has studied at University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford; Kwantlen College, Surrey; Emily Carr University of Art and Design; Scottsdale Artists School: Greg Beecham Workshop, and Hollyhock, Cortez Island, BC: Robert Bateman Workshop. www.davidflatt.ca

”Good Ole Ride”

Pat Flynn-Zawojski - Twentynine Palms, California
A full-time resident of Twentynine Palms since 1969, after retirement from the Federal Government in 1995, Pat Flynn-Zawojski thought enrollment in watercolor classes sounded like fun. She fell in love with the medium and its challenge, and has been painting ever since. She started painting a series of desert wildflowers and reproduced then into greeting cards. Her first wholesale customer was the Joshua Tree National Park Association, where the cards are still selling in the park’s visitor centers. She also works in pastel and colored pencil, has been commissioned to do work in all media, and has studied computer graphics at Copper Mountain College to help her in the reproduction process. She has had gallery shows at 29 Palms Art Gallery and “The Gallery” in Big Bear Lake. She also is past president of Action 29 Palms (The Mural People) and chaired the first “Mural in a Day” project in October 2002.

”Petroglyph Palazzo
Desert Montage”

Frederick Fulmer - Joshua Tree, California
Frederick Fulmer came to Joshua Tree in 2000 to set up an art studio and explore Joshua Tree National Park. As an artist, he is interested in presenting universal ordinary images in an extraordinary way. His work involves the use of color and texture in abstract forms, and his most recent pieces use photo image transfers of plants and landscape with abstract elements inspired by the Mojave Desert. Fulmer has a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and was active in New York Art Students League and the Rachel Rosenthal DBD Quatre Quart Workshop. He was a studio assistant for Jasper Johns, Joe Brainard, and Fischbach Gallery in New York, and has taught visual journaling from Tokyo, Japan, to Venice, CA. In 2007, he started Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency program. In 2009, he founded Joshua Tree Art Gallery (JTAG). Fulmer participates in the annual Venice Art Walk Studio Tours and is a board member of Palm Springs Arts Council. www.fredart.net


”Keys to the Past”

Marcia Geiger - Landers, California
A house-sitting position in Joshua Tree introduced artist Marcia Geiger to the high desert in 1989. “Its incomparable landscape and wildlife inspired me to take up the brush and palette, and I have lived here ever since.” Geiger studied oil painting with Irene Scoggin-Bertrand, a well-known local artist, which furthered her skills and talent, as did encouragement from friends and patrons. From richly or softly hued desert landscapes to desert birds and other critters, her work ranges from compact to medium-large and expresses a breathtaking depth and beauty. Geiger paints in her studio in Landers and has exhibited her work at Joshua Tree Art Gallery. www.geigarts.com

”Joshua Aglow”

Jacob Gonzalez - Sacramento, California
Jacob Gonzalez was on a family vacation in England when he first discovered that the world could be captured and preserved through what was seen in a viewfinder. Since that time, photography has become his passion. “To me, photography is a way to capture forever moments of significance…. As a photographer, I try to capture a scene in unique and different ways. When I get to a location, I spend some time looking around and finding the perfect angle to shoot from. One of my favorite quotes from Ansel Adams, ‘You don’t take a photograph, you make it.’ This is the perfect description of my approach to capturing landscapes. Scouting out the location, setting up the shot, and then waiting for the right moment to press the shutter…. I do my best to capture God’s beautiful creation with my camera and create a timeless work of art.” www.jgonzales.photography

”Amused Muses”

James Hammons - Joshua Tree, California
James Hammons created the artistic genre “Enchantism.” Derived from Jungian archetypes, Enchantism is the space between the reality we perceive now, and the abstract we consider later. Utilizing a wide array of mixed mediums, Hammons feels that capturing images in this precise energetic moment between “here” and “there” offers the best insight into beauty, spirituality, and thus art being the human condition and the oldest form of medicine. Hammons was educated at the University of Redlands and went on to receive a Masters at the University of Southern California. He lives and works in Joshua Tree, CA, and has exhibited in numerous galleries and private homes, from India, England, Germany, Spain, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and especially in his hometown of Joshua Tree. He is also a screenwriter and poet, having adapted for theatrical screenplay best-selling novels by such renowned artists as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sydney Sheldon, and Jackie Collins. www.jameshammonsarts.com | www.jameshammonsartcards.com

”Palm Canyon Oasis”

Debra Holladay - Pomona, California
Debra Holladay’s art career began at age two with a tube of red lipstick and her cooperative dog, followed by a crayon wall mural unsuccessfully hidden behind a chest of drawers. After receiving her BFA in Advertising Design, she moved to New York City where she studied painting in oils for six years at the Art Students’ League of New York. She also studied en plein air in Central Park and painted regularly in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, until returning to Southern California in 1996. Holladay’s figurative work, landscapes, and still life paintings focus on capturing transcendent moments in time that are universal through light, color, and subject matter. She has painted en plein air throughout the desert region, including Joshua Tree National Park, and has exhibited extensively in Southern California. She is an Artist member of the California Art Club, a founding member of Studio2310 in Duarte, CA, and a charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. www.debraholladay.net

”Joshua Tree”

Dennis Johnson - Palm Springs, California
Dennis Johnson has an MFA in printmaking from the University of South Florida, Tampa. He is a board member of the Artists Council at Palm Springs Art Museum, member of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society and Printmakers Network at Riverside Art Museum. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and has won numerous awards in juried exhibitions. Most recently his work appeared in the 30th annual Made in California, a juried exhibition at the City of Brea Art Gallery. His work is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, St. Louis Art Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, Wisconsin. Johnson is an instructor at California State University of San Bernardino, Palm Desert Campus, and College of the Desert in Palm Desert. The painting “Joshua Tree” presents the iconic native species, Yucca Brevifolia, frequently linked to the park. Handwritten text and topographic maps expand the context, inviting contemplation of our relationship with the desert. www.dennisjohnsondesign.com

”A Walk in the Park”

Gerhard Kammer - Studio City, California
Gerhard Kammer learned watercolor as part of his architectural schooling, as well as tempra illustration, charcoal and pen-and-ink drawing. He obtained an MA in Architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1974. His designs have been built in China, the Middle East, and the U.S. After 40 years of honing design skills, in April 2011 he retired from architecture to pursue fine art. Kammer began painting in 1994 at his hand-built Joshua Tree studio. He now lives in Studio City and Joshua Tree, painting the desert and Ventura Harbor. He has exhibited his award-winning work in prestigious exhibitions including the 46th Watercolor West Juried Exhibit; San Diego Watercolor Society 34th International Exhibition; Louisiana Watercolor Society 44th International Exhibition in 2014; the National Watercolor Society Member Exhibit 2013; and Joshua Tree National Park Juried Art Exhibition 2013 and 2014. www.gerhardkammer.com

”Last One Standing”

Jennifer Kane - Joshua Tree, California
Jenny Kane is an artist and educator whose multi-disciplinary practice spans painting, sculpture, design, photography, prose, and performance. After years of working in traditional classrooms, she decided to reorient her life around exploring both the urban and wild settings we inhabit across the globe. Her paintings, designs, interactive sculptural pieces and installations are an evolving dialogue about how we move within and are shaped by our environments. Born in Los Angeles in 1983, she received her BFA and a California teaching credential from Mount St. Mary’s College in 2005. She is currently a candidate for an MFA in Public Practice at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. In addition to working as a professional mountain guide, Kane is also a columnist for KCET’s Artbound. In her residence in Joshua Tree, she is the creator and curator of her own art space, called “The Sun Room,” in which she curates shows annually. www.jennykaneart.com

”Gambel's Quail”

Myra Kennedy - Yucca Valley, California
Myra Kennedy first picked up a paint brush in preschool. As she grew older, her love of art collaborated with her love of nature. She worked for a few years for a small publishing company providing illustrations for children’s text books, but the constrained nature of the work left her uninspired. After other endeavors, she found her stride in the world of art. “Though I have tried watercolor, oils and pastels, acrylic is my primary choice of medium. It can be watered down and allowed to flow much like watercolor. A gel gloss can be added for texture and shine much like oil.” About the creative process, she says, “the end result can be unexpected and surprising. Living in Yucca Valley for the past 20 years, I have also found the desert to be unexpected and surprising! The starkness butts heads with the complex. And if one takes the time to notice, one cannot help but be overwhelmed by the beauty.”

”Magic Hour”

Casey Kiernan - Joshua Tree, California
Casey Kiernan is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker. He was born in California and recently moved to Joshua Tree. Kiernan runs a Bed-and-Breakfast-style Photography/ Filmmaking workshop out of his house in Joshua Tree, featuring landscape, timelapse, and astro-photography workshops and retreats, where guests can immerse themselves in Joshua Tree National Park, which offers “some of the most amazing landscapes on the planet … and amazing views of the Milky Way.” Growing up in Southern California, Kiernan has been filming in Joshua Tree National Park, and the American Southwest, for decades. As a professional photographer, he has received coverage in numerous magazine articles and cover shots. His works can be viewed on Getty Images, Vimeo, and CaseyKiernanPhoto.com. Recent awards include winner of Best Timelapse at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, January 2015, for “Joshua Tree Immersion.” www.joshuatreeworkshops.com 

”Showdown at Barker Dam"

Kathy Kleinsteiber - San Jose, California
Kathy Kleinsteiber lives and works in San Jose, CA. She fell in love with Joshua trees and the Mojave Desert as a young child when she lived in Southern California. She has been studying and creating art for most of her life. In 2010, she embarked upon an intensive course in botanical art at the Filoli Center in Woodside, CA. Since completing the botanical art certificate program, she has transitioned from flora to fauna, now focusing on wildlife painting in oil. Her artwork has been shown in regional, state, and national juried exhibitions, including shows at Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, CA, the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, and the Natural History Museum at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her work was represented in materials for a national bird art exhibition at the Tubac Center of the Arts in Arizona and received special recognition at the Yosemite Renaissance XXIX Exhibition at Yosemite National Park. www.kathykleinsteiber.com


Noreen Lawlor - Joshua Tree, California
Artist Noreen Lawlor paints and sculpts desert landscapes and the creatures who inhabit them, including humans. She works in various mediums (watercolor, etching, acrylic, sculpture) and frequently produces the same image in several different mediums. She states, “I like to see which best connects the feeling inherent in the place or face. I like to play and let the thing kind of create itself through me. Sometimes, I get lucky and get to show some rocky terrain or the eyes of a bobcat so you see a bit of its spirit.” Lawlor is also a poet and is in the process of publishing her first book combining poetry and painting. She has participated in the Hwy 62 Art Tours, the Palm Springs Art Museum Members Show, and the Joshua Tree National Park Juried Show 2013. She has BA and MA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and has attended art programs including at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. 

”Desert Horned Lizard Pot”

Ronald A. LaMahieu - Princeton, New Jersey
Ronald LeMahieu was a pharmaceutical research chemist at Hoffman-LaRoche for 30 years. During that time, he traveled to Europe, East Africa, China, Nepal, Peru, Galapagos Islands, and the southwestern U.S. He was an avid photographer at the time and focused on close-ups of nature. LeMahieu retired in 1994. Since relocating to Princeton in 2003, he has concentrated on learning art history and practicing art, especially ceramics. Auditing art history courses at Princeton, Rutgers, and Mercer County Community College (MCCC) in West African art, pre-Columbian art, and modern art has influenced his ceramics work. Since 2005, he has worked at MCCC with Michael Welliver. LeMahieu’s ceramics are inspired by mask imagery, primitive wood carvings, and abstract sculpture. He is now introducing textures and colors into his work using perlite and vermiculite and through the use of glazes that simulate lava and lichens, and loves the raku and smoke-firing processes for their unpredictable results.

”Wild West”

Anita Marci - Lahaina, Hawaii
Anita Marci is an award-winning professional fine artist. Originally from Pennsylvania, she graduated in 1982 with a BFA in Communication Design, Summa Cum Laude. After graduation, she took a position as illustrator/designer in a New York City design firm. In 1985, upon receiving a painting commission of 60 watercolors for “Everlastings: The Complete Book of Wildflowers,” the artist left the firm and established Anita Marci Studios. The successful Park Avenue art studio specialized in product and package design for the cosmetics, fragrance, publishing, and textile industries. Clientele included Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Elizabeth Taylor, Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, Halston-Borghese, Revlon, and Lancome. June 2015 marked 30 years in business. Marci’s art has received national and international awards. She has been featured in books, magazines, and TV, and was accepted and exhibited as an individual artist at the prestigious Art Expo New York Show in April 2014. She is currently Artist-in-Residence at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii. www.anitatheartist.com

”Phantom Light”

Robert Miramontes - Desert Hot Springs, California
Robert Miramontes has been a permanent resident of Southern California since birth, and has spent nearly his entire life exploring, rock climbing, and photographing Joshua Tree National Park. He has written four books on Joshua Tree rock climbing, and has plans for branching out with a variety of other publications on the park. His extensive collection of Joshua Tree National Park photography spans 25 years, chronicling a near fanatical obsession to explore every canyon and crevice, and to climb every cliff and summit. Miramontes, his wife Christina, and their daughter Alexandra, live in nearby Desert Hot Springs, just half a mile from the park’s western boundary.

”JTNP Diamonds in the Desert”

Darlene Morris - Yucca Valley, California
Darlene Hansen Morris began her art career when she received her first new box of Crayola crayons. Taking art classes in high school, college, and workshops with well-known artists, she now has paintings in oil, watercolor, and acrylic in private collections across the U.S. The subjects she paints are a reflection of her love of the natural landscape and her appreciation of man-made structures. She strives to see grace, beauty, and soul expressed in each work to bring a sense of peace and harmony into each painting. As a teacher, Morris shares these ideas and her techniques at the Hi-Desert Arts Academy, 29 Palms Art Gallery, and Yucca Valley Community Center. Since plein-air painting in Joshua Tree National Park can be a challenge, she often takes reference photos for her paintings and uses a painting knife to build up layers in her work, to get the textures and rich colors seen in the park landscape. www.dhmorris.net

”Snow Day”

Chip Morton - Manifee, California
Even as a kid Chip Morton wanted to create images with a camera. His parents forbade him to touch one for fear he would destroy it. Wading into the ocean with a forbidden Instamatic to document his brother surfing was the first time he touched a shutter release. He was hooked. He registered for photography classes and worked in camera stores after school learning every detail about the photographic process. In the late 1980s, he worked as a professional assistant in Orange County’s commercial photography studios before opening his own studio in Temecula, CA. After 20 years of product work, Morton is focusing on fine art landscape photography. He has been photographing Joshua Tree National Park for years. “When news of the dire effects of climate change on the Joshua trees broke a few years back, I was devastated…. I now feel an urgency to document my friends in both their glory and, most recently, their struggle to survive.” www.chipmortonphotography.zenfolio.com

”Park Entrance”

James O'Keefe - Joshua Tree, California
James O’Keefe’s work is about metaphorical space and line traversing that space. Line is synonymous with path, and his paintings are more akin to maps of passages seen and unseen. Sometimes the line is unbroken from start to finish; other times the line is broken, stopped, and started again. “Line is important in my work as it was to archaic Indian cultures of many continents. The native work of North America and Australia are examples that have influenced me the most. These cultures made abstract designs and intricate mazes for ritual and purifications purposes. My purposes are much the same.” O’Keefe has been painting since 1988 and has a BFA from Otis Art Institute. He also has a BSN in Nursing, which supports his family. He currently maintains two painting studios, one in Joshua Tree, CA, and the second on the Oregon Coast where his family spends time in the summer. www.jamesokeefeart.com

”Joshua Tree 1”

Eric Pfranger - Joshua Tree, California
Metal artist Eric Pfranger has lived in Joshua Tree for nine years. Inspired by the unique shapes and beauty of Joshua trees, he wanted to try making one. He had been remodeling and cleaning swimming pools for over 20 years and had been saving all his scrap wire. After many failed attempts, he was finally able to create a piece that resembled our Joshua trees. Five years of making and selling wire trees, he now buys spools of wire and spends all his free time making trees to keep up with sales. “Maybe one day I could give up on pools and just create art pieces,” he says. “My fingers are crossed.”



”Hidden Valley Morning”

Kyle Rafferty - Phoenix, Arizona
Kyle Rafferty’s work explores a wide range of subject matter in an effort to create compelling compositions of light and form. With ongoing training in the academic tradition of classical realism and years spent painting the landscape en plein air, his images are rooted in careful observations of value relationships and temperature shifts, executed with painterly intention to reveal the qualities of the material at hand, typically oil paint or charcoal. Growing up in Pennsylvania, he earned a degree in Art Education and taught high school and advance placement art classes, while continuing to draw and paint. An avid hiker and backpacker, he later headed west to explore the landscape. Settling in Phoenix, he started Artefino Surface Designs, worked with local figurative artists, and painted en plein air when not working on client projects. In 2012, he began workshops at Scottsdale Artist School. Recently, Rafferty became Vice President of the Arizona Plein Air Painters Association.

”Hidden Valley Trail”

Jessica Schiffman - Idyllwild, California
Jessica Schiffman has been a full-time working artist for more than two decades. Her paintings are exhibited in the Coachella Valley and Idyllwild, and currently at the Jake Dent Gallery in Palm Desert. She has illustrated 16 children’s books for a variety of publishers and has art in international collections. This past winter, she painted a mural in Cathedral Cove, honored by the mayor of Cathedral City, and is planning a second mural. Schiffman has a BFA in painting from San Francisco Art Institute and has taught art classes and workshops including the Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program over the past 12 years. “I’m fortunate to live and work in an area with dramatic natural beauty…. I spend the early morning out of doors, creating small plein-air studies, then I work on larger canvases in my studio during the afternoon. After 20 years of painting with acrylics, I’ve returned to my first love, oils.” www.jessicaschiffman.com

”King Chuck”

Jean Scobie - Yucca Valley, California
A life-long California resident, Jean Fields Scobie spent her formative years in Banning, where she acquired an interest in art and crafts from her grandmothers, mother, and older sister. Girl Scouts and family camping trips also influenced her interest in nature and art. She studied art in high school and went on to attend several junior colleges and Humboldt State University, where she pursued more art experience. Upon retirement from the banking industry, Scobie moved to Yucca Valley to be near her sister, and found the environment to be inspiring and the art community to be welcoming. She joined the 29 Palms Art Gallery and set up a large in-home studio, working on multi-media projects (mosaic, decoupage, papier mache’, paint), with an emphasis in acrylic on canvas and board. One of her paintings of rock formations in the park was accepted for the inaugural Joshua Tree National Park Juried Art Show in 2013.

”Smoke Tree in Wash”

Esther Shaw - Yucca Valley, California
Esther Shaw has been living and painting in the desert since 2004 and exhibits her work in desert galleries and the annual Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours. A Boston native, she graduated from Massachusetts College of Art, BFA with a painting major, followed by graduate classes in art at University of Arizona, Tucson, and in education at UC Irvine. She worked as an architectural illustrator for 20 years and art teacher for Santa Ana Public Schools, Rancho Santiago Community College, and Copper Mountain College. Shaw was an exhibiting artist and member of the SCA Project Gallery, Pomona, CA, and past studio holder of the Santora Arts Building, Santa Ana. She was selected in 2004 for the Envisioning the Future Project, Pomona, under the direction of Judy Chicago; was selected for Long Beach Aquarium, Ocean Arts; and was owner/curator of The Spezzano Gallery, Long Beach. She is a member of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council. www.esthershawsart.com

”Last Light at Indian Canyon”

Doug Shoemaker - San Francisco, California
Realist painter Doug Shoemaker was selected as Artist-in-Residence at Joshua Tree National Park for Spring 2015, for his Rock/Sky Juxtaposition watercolor project. “Over many years of hiking and camping at Joshua Tree, two elements stand out as significant markers of this special place: the monzogranite formations throughout the park, and the vast open sky above. Together, these two elements form a strong figure/ground relationship that can be seen as both powerful and simple.” Shoemaker received a B.S. in Architecture, 1973, at Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan; and studied painting, drawing, sculpture at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; and printmaking, intaglio, etching at CCSF: Fort Mason Art Center, San Francisco. He has exhibited his watercolors extensively throughout California since the mid-1970s and is represented by SFMOMA Artist’s Gallery, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA, 2012-present, and Skidmore Contemporary Art, Santa Monica, CA, 2015. www.dougshoemakerwatercolors.com

”Out of the Shadow”

Mark Spangenberg - Twentynine Palms, California
Mark Spangenberg is known as a contemporary realist. He studied at Art Center College of Design, receiving a B.A. in Illustration in 1985, where his instructors were illustrating for the movies, advertising, and transportation industry in Los Angeles. In 1980, he studied fresco painting in Salzburg, Austria, with master artist Robert Scherer from Bolzano, Italy, where he was introduced to painting into fresh plaster (true fresco). Born and raised in Twentynine Palms, Spangenberg worked as a billboard painter in Palm Springs; assisted with fresco painter Benjamin Long IV and Charles Kapsner; and has continued portrait, mural, historical, landscape commissions. He has also done TV courtroom sketching, and taught at the Sawtooth School of Visual Art in Winston-Salem, The Wesleyan Academy, the Art Alliance in Greensboro, NC, and privately. He recently returned to his hometown of Twentynine Palms to teach and create art. www.markspangenbergfineart.com


Karine Swenson - Joshua Tree, California
Karine Swenson grew up outside Rapid City in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The closest neighbor to the family home was a mile away. She remembers being surrounded by pine trees and going for long walks with her dog and her family. Growing up in this environment, Swenson’s connection with the natural world was strong. After receiving her BA from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, she moved to Colorado, more pine trees and mountains. Swenson has spent most of her life in small towns that sit next to the last remaining bits of wilderness. Whether it was mountains in Colorado, the ocean around Maui, Hawaii, and now the desert near Joshua Tree, CA, Swenson feels the most at home out in nature. In the studio, her second home, she explores her relationship with the natural world with paint. Swenson has been a full time artist for the past ten years. www.karineswenson.com

”Boulder Kiss”

Anita Van Vliet - Joshua Tree, California
An award-winning artist, with three decades spent painting, Alita Van Vliet is known for her unique perspective and bold use of color. Her collection of acrylic paintings titled “Nature and Spirit” is inspired by a lifelong connection to nature. Her aim is to embrace the spirit of each subject, working with a graceful balance of line, form, color, and texture. Her studies in art include two formal design degrees and several painting intensives that took her from Southern France to New Mexico. Van Vliet moved to Joshua Tree from Northern California in 2012, looking for new inspiration and an intensified focus on her art. She shows her artwork in galleries, juried shows, and open studio events and joined the Board of Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council in 2013, where she serves as volunteer coordinator of the area’s art exhibits, including creation and development of a cooperative gallery, and was director for the 2014 and 2015 Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours. www.alitavanvlietart.com

”The Hiker”

Martha Villegas-Valentin - Cathedral City, California
Having grown up in Mexico, artist Martha Villegas’ strongest visual impressions were the bright colors of the fruit in the market, the movement and laughter of children playing on the streets, and her town inundated with summer light. “In much of my work, I represent the bright colors of my childhood memories. I also enjoy applying all kinds of textures to my paintings and drawings.

The use of vibrant, saturated-color on my paintings is a representation of what I consider life in its full expression.” Born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, she studied art in Casa De La Cultura in Mexicali and continued art studies in Universidad de Baja California, Imperial Valley College, and San Diego State University. She lives in Cathedral City, teaching art lessons and painting. She is a member of the Artists Council of Palm Springs Art Museum, American Women Artists, California Art Club, 29 Palms Artists’ Guild, and PAAR/Plein Air Artists of Riverside. www.marthaevillegas.com


Krista Wargo - Yucca Valley, California
Krista Wargo was born and raised in Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a degree in Fine Arts. Upon graduation, she moved to Southern California, became a teacher, and earned an MA in Education. She currently teaches high school art. Initially painting from her imagination, she gradually became more interested in painting from observation. The desert landscape began to increasingly draw her attention. Living so close to Joshua Tree National Park afforded her the opportunity to get out into nature and paint en plein air. “The landscape of our American Southwest is a constant source of fascination for me. I am intrigued by the way the light plays on the surfaces of the desert; the mountains, rocks, plants, trees, land, and clouds. The light creates shadows that interweave among the light producing beautiful abstract shapes. When I paint, I focus on these abstract shapes, and when they all go together, they produce an image of our desert.” www.kristawargoart.com

”Lone Yucca”

Kim Zarney - Cleveland, Ohio
Ohio artist Kim Zarney attended Syracuse University and earned his BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Cleveland Institute of Art. He has worked as an illustrator, graphic designer, and advertising agency creative director. Renewing his fine arts career, Zarney is building a body of work with a focus on monochrome landscapes and abstract expressions of the natural world. His 2015 exhibitions include national juried shows in New York, Florida, Minnesota, Illinois, Montana, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, North Dakota, Ohio, and California. “I have an affinity for the unpretentious honesty reflected in preliminary sketches and studies. These physical and unscripted works have an abstract quality that’s void of details and extraneous colors. What’s left on the paper is the essence of the artist’s thoughts. To me, the aesthetic appeal is timeless. That’s how I approach my monochrome pieces. Not as direct renditions of my selected subject matter but as abstract expressions of the natural world that leave room for interpretation.” www.zarney.com


Featured Artists of Years Past

Featured Artists 2014

Featured Artists 2013