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Joshua Tree National Park Juried Art Exhibition 2016

Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition 2016 had yet another an overwhelming response to the Call for Art Entries. This year's juried art exhibition received 236 entries from 92 artists across the globe. Selected for the exhibition were 49 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.

"High Desert Monument"

Robert Arnett – Glendora, California
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 of Parsons School of Design, Scottsdale Artists’ School in Arizona, 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

"A Meeting of Trees"

Jaymie Arquilevich – Ojai, California
Jaymie Arquilevich is a textile artist who divides her time between Wonder Valley and Ojai, CA. Her experiments with needle and thread began in the early '90s when she designed and hand-stitched stuffed animals using wool felt, fabric scraps, and beaded accents. Family life and a career in early childhood education became her priority for several years until 2013, when she quit full-time teaching. She now uses her sewing skills to construct abstract textile landscapes, thus expanding her knowledge of traditional stitching techniques, machine embroidery, and fabric manipulation. Her work has been shown at Gallery 525 in Ojai, Las Palmas Mexican Cuisine in Yucca Valley, the 29 Palms Art Gallery in 29 Palms, and during the 2015 Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours in Wonder Valley. Arquilevich lives mainly in Ojai with her husband, one of three children, three cats, and a bearded dragon.

"Pinto Basin #1"

Penelope Benson-Wright – Twentynine Palms, California
Penelope Benson-Wright has been creating art for over 40 years. Known best for her Raku ceramic sculpture and pottery, she also works in assemblage, brush painting, photography, and watercolor. Her ceramic art was influenced by her teacher in Japan, Takeo Suto; her mentor and friend in New York, Toshiko Takaezu; studies with potter/sculptor Paul Soldner and renowned metal sculptor Richard Stankiewicz. She founded Raku Gallery in NYC which featured ceramic artists; taught Japanese Ceramics and Culture at Skidmore College; apprenticed with a master potter while living in Japan; received her BA and MA from the University at Albany, State University of NY, and held management positions in government, corporate and non-profit institutions, working in the U.S. and Asia. Her ceramic sculptures are inspired by her experiences of living in and visiting California for many years, and capture the evolution of the natural world and the unique beauty and geology of Joshua Tree National Park.

"Ocotillo Stands Alone"

Valerie Messervy Birkhoff
Valerie Messervy Birkhoff graduated from Portland State University with a BS in Arts and Letters. She spent 15 years living in New Mexico doing her artwork while working full time in emergency services. Living in such a beautiful environment gave her an appreciation for the natural world. Since moving to California four years ago, she has been dedicated to creating and showing her artwork. Her first juried show was with the Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition in 2014, and in 2015 she won a second place award there. In 2016 she became member of the Sacramento Fine Arts Club and won best of show at the “On the Wall” Exhibition in 2016. She is a member Pioneer Arts Club in Grass Valley, California, where she lives. She is continuing her artistic education with the help of online resources and other artists. www.valsworth.com

"Planet Rock"

Linda Brown – Claremont, Califoria
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 has been painting most of her life. Studying the great landscape artists of the past and present, she finds herself especially drawn to the beautiful light, color, and atmosphere found most often in the works of early California artists such as: Maurice Braun, Edgar Payne, and Colin Campbell Cooper. Seeking further growth, she has studied with several contemporary masters such as Ralph Oberg, Matt Smith, Skip Whitcomb and Kathleen Dunphy. Brown's paintings have been accepted into many national juried exhibitions and invitational museum shows, and hang in collections throughout the Western U.S. She is a member of the California Art Club, and her home and studio are in Claremont, CA. www.LindaBrownArt.com

"Homesteader's Dream"

Naomi Brown – Queen Creek, Arizona
Naomi Brown was born in Palm Springs, California, in 1975, and grew up in Twentynine Palms. She now resides in Arizona with her husband and children. She has been nationally recognized in competitions. She had two pieces of her work chosen for the 20th Arts for the Parks in 2006 and had 11 pieces chosen for the national competition Paint the Parks and Paint America, 2008-2011. Her work is in private collections and has toured the U.S. She is a member of American Women Artists, has been showcased in the online magazine Gateway to Sedona, and was featured in the Southwest Art Magazine January and August 2015 issues and the September 2015 edition of American Art Collector Magazine. She is a self-taught artist and has been painting for the past 13 years, specializing in Southwest and Western landscapes and animal paintings.  She mainly paints with acrylic and oil on watercolor paper and canvas, sometimes mixing the two mediums together. www.naomibrownart.com


Teal Buehler – Trona, California
Teal Buehler grew up a child of artist parents in Trinidad, California, a small town known for its rain, fog, and coastal scenery. She spent most of her time outside at the beach, rivers, and in the woods, which created a strong connection to nature. She studied drawing, painting, collage, and ceramics; graduating from Humboldt State University with a bachelor’s degree in art. Seeking more sun, she moved to Central Oregon. Bend provided a natural beauty that continued to provide inspiration. Another change of scenery to the Mojave Desert is the latest chapter in a collection of experiences for the development of her work. “In my studio I can call on past and current experiences, visions and illustrations to create these unique impressions of the natural world. My physical journeys are reflected in my designs, and I am intrigued to follow this path and see where it takes my art.” www.tealbuehler.com

"A Park Icon"

Chuck Caplinger – Twentynine Palms, California
Chuck Caplinger’s award-winning creations hang in public and private collections around the world, and his historical murals are represented in cities throughout California and Texas. Caplinger regularly exhibits his works in group and solo exhibitions. A series of his paintings were featured in Southwest Art Magazine and his “Tribute to Marilyn” mural was exhibited in the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in Los Angeles. In 2001, his paintings were featured in the Edward Dean Museum in Cherry Valley, CA, in an exhibition titled “The West—From the Reservation to the Range—A Retrospective.” In 2001, Caplinger co-founded the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council and the Open Studio Art Tours (Hwy 62 Art Tours). In 2004, he co-founded the City of Twentynine Palms public arts program, Art in Public Places, and the Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC), and is Chair Emeritus. Caplinger established Desert Art Studio in his dome home near the north entrance to Joshua Tree National Park in 1997. www.desertartstudio.com

"Glass Marbles"

Christina Cody – Yucca Valley, California
Christina Cody has been an artist her entire life. Beadwork and stained glass were introduced at age 10. By the age of 20, she owned retail stores and artist fair weekend booths, vending many mediums of work. Cody learned that her joy was from creating and gave up all retail locations in 2005 to pursue full-time glass blowing. By 2005, she had won multiple “Flame-Off” competitions and was a sponsored artist traveling and demonstrating at various art shows. Experience in rock climbing has been a key source of inspiration for Cody’s work. Summiting Half Dome and other mountain peaks are great accomplishments, but it is the desert where her heart and home is. She hopes to show her love for the warm and diverse desert beauty through her glass work.


"Mirror Head"

Laurel Cohen – Bloomington, Indiana
Laurel Cohen is stirred by the Organic, the Strange, and the Mystical. At 23 years old, Cohen’s work has landed premieres on Interview Magazine, NPR, Rookie, and Bullett Magazine, and her music video Hourglass, for Lily and Madeleine, was named a Top 10 Staff Pick by Paste Magazine. Her films have screened at dozens of film festivals internationally, including San Francisco International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival KIDS. She currently files herself in the “happily nomadic artist” category, moving between the Midwest and the West Coast. “Mirror Head” is part of a photography and film series that Cohen made during her time at Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency in April 2016. There are 11 photo prints in total, capturing four different “creatures” in the Joshua Tree desert at various times of day, constructed from recycled materials and found [dead] organic materials from Joshua Tree. www.laurelcohen.com

"Joshua Tree National Park Impressions"

Janis Commentz – Yucca Valley, California
Janis Commentz moved to the High Desert in 1977 as a teacher. Nearly four decades of exposure to the elements on the edge of the Joshua Tree National Park have developed her patience, nurtured her spirit and taught her to love the desert. Commentz holds a B.A from the University of Redlands and an M.A. from California State University San Bernardino. At the University of Redlands, Commentz studied printmaking with John Nava, creator of the tapestries at Lady of Our Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles. She has participated six years on the Hwy 62 Art Tours and has participated in a variety of festivals, including the Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition, the CSUSB Art Fair, and Art for Heaven’s Sake. She is the founder of the Morongo Basin Life Drawing League. Today, Commentz exhibits at local galleries and is the Director of the Morongo Basin Cultural Art Council’s Gallery 62. www.JanisCommentz.com

"Snake and the Secret of Life"

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, California, in 1973, where he worked as a hardware and software designer. Bill is now retired and makes his home in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park. 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 29 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 blurb.com. www.billdahlphotography.com


"Man Eaters"

Doug Dolde – Joshua Tree, California
Doug Dolde has been photographing the landscape of the American West since 2001. He began with 4x5 inch transparency film, and currently uses a Phase One IQ180 eighty megapixel medium format digital system. His work has won several awards at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, Escondido Art Association, Sedona Arts Center, and San Diego Museum of Natural History. He regularly shows and sells his work at the Borrego Art Institute, Desert Art Center in Palm Springs, and JTAG in Joshua Tree, California. His images can also be licensed for publication through Getty Images. He considers a total workflow from capturing the image to framing the final print as essential in producing a fine art piece of the highest quality possible. In addition to printing his own work, he handcrafts his frames primarily from quarter sawn white oak. www.DouglasDolde.com

"Joshua Tree Moonrise"

Robert Donsker – North Oaks, Minnesota
Robert Donsker’s history of serious photography spans nearly 50 years. Initially influenced by 20th Century photographers and painters such as Edward Weston, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Charles Sheeler, his long involvement in art continues with 21st Century influences. Donsker is the recipient of more than 25 awards in regional, national, and international juried shows. He has photographed on four continents and has a long involvement with abandoned properties and landscape. Donsker’s work is on permanent display at the University of Minnesota, colleges, libraries, and other public institutions as well as corporate and private collections. His latest works have been strongly influenced by the dramatic landscape of both Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks. He currently maintains a full-time practice in the field of Dentistry in his native Minnesota. www.robertdonskerphotography.com

"Cactus Bouquet"

Lee Edwards – Duarte, California
Lee Edwards is an artist living and working in Duarte, California. He was born in Los Angeles and started painting as an adolescent in Dalton, Georgia. He was educated at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio as well as the University of Southern California where he studied cinema. After a career as a film editor, he has returned to his original calling as a visual artist and has specialized in western landscape themes including desert and cactus motifs. The style is contemporary California impressionism. Exhibitions have included the Oil Painters of America national exhibits and western regional exhibits; also the Long Beach Museum of Art and the San Marino “Art Matters” exhibit at the Huntington museum as well as California Art Club shows. His plein-air and studio landscapes in oil are increasingly being exhibited in California and winning awards in juried shows, and are collected throughout the U.S. www.edwardsfineart.com

"Shawn's Tree"

Frani Evedon – Colden, New York
Lakota shaman Lame Deer said, “We are only a physical manifestation of what is real.” This existential notion asserts corporeal and non-corporeal simultaneity. Photographer Frani Evedon believes that layers of realities exist beyond the physical and that, through these realities, we communicate in a way that define and reflect both individual and humanity’s transitions, exemplified by our advancement or regression. Photography is her conduit to communicate what she experiences within using objects that exist on the physical plane. Evedon has been making and exhibiting images for more than 30 years. As a high school visual art teacher for 27 years and department chair for 19 of them, she imbued all aspects of visual expression with her personal philosophy. “We choose the paths we take, and we choose the events occurring in our lives and in the world. Every choice creates an event that contains intrinsic spiritual lessons, and it is our responsibility to discover what those lessons are.” www.evedonphotography.com

"Pegmatite 2"

Robert Fogel – Haughton, Louisiana
Metal artist Robert Fogel says: “A beautiful line strikes a chord within me as do the contrast of colors and the harmonious arrangement of forms within an image. The power of a line and form in my sculptures is enhanced by stripping away superfluous detail.” Fogel grew up in western Oregon in a soft landscape dominated by dense vegetation. The sparse vegetation and resulting landscapes in the Great Basin marked a sharp contrast to western Oregon landscapes. The beauty of these stark landscapes drove him to make sculptures that strip a mental image to its essence, emphasizing line and form. Color is used to contrast features. The result often evokes memories of landscapes and geological features that he experienced during the 30 years he spent working in the deserts and mountains of the West. www.rfogelart.co


"Desert Sky"

Siri France – Los Angeles, California
Siri France is an artist from Edinburgh, Scotland, now based in Los Angeles, who works in painting and drawing in an organic, atmospheric style. Born in Brighton, Southern England, she spent time in her childhood on the South Downs, with their chalk pits and white cliffs. Later when her family moved to Scotland, the landscape of the West Coast and the islands caught her imagination. She received a BA Honors degree in painting and printmaking from the University of Northumbria, spent a year of college exchange at the Art Institute of Chicago, and later received a Post Graduate diploma in Art Therapy from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. In 2008, she moved to LA. She works from her home studio in Silver Lake, where she lives with her husband. She teaches painting and drawing to adult students, and has shown her work in LA venues, including GDCA contemporary arts, Art Share LA, and Santa Monica Art studios. www.sirifrance.com

"Desert Tracks"

Frederick Fulmer – Joshua Tree, California
Frederick Fulmer is interested in presenting universal ordinary images in extraordinary ways. His work involves the use of color and texture in abstract forms, and his most recent pieces use photo image transfers of landscapes with abstract elements inspired by the Mojave Desert. Fulmer has a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and was active in the 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, painting and printmaking. In 2000, he came to Joshua Tree to set up an art studio and explore Joshua Tree National Park. In 2007, he started Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency program, and in 2009, he founded Joshua Tree Art Gallery (JTAG). Fulmer also has served as a board member of Palm Springs Arts Council. www.FredArt.net

"Metaphysics No 2 (Joshua Tree Night)"

Nikki Gardner – Williamsburg, Massachusetts
Nikki Gardner was born in 1973 in Goshen, Indiana. She studied photography at Chatham University, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Hui No’eau Visual Art Center, and Ohio University School of Art. She first started making photographic snapshots with a Kodak 110 camera. Her work explores themes of language, memory, and time. Gardner likes to work with Polaroid film cameras but also blends traditional photographic processes with contemporary technology. Her fine art photographs have been exhibited at numerous galleries throughout the U.S., including shows at Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography (Detroit, MI), Studio Place Arts Gallery (Barre, VT), The Paseo (Taos, NM), Upstream Gallery (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY), and Washington County Arts Council Gallery (Hagerstown, MD). Her black and white Polaroid capture of Mystic Beach won third place in the New York Center for Photographic Arts show juried by Darren Ching. She currently resides in Williamsburg, Massachusetts. www.nikki-gardner.com

"Joshua-Things About To Disappear"

James Hammons – Joshua Tree, California
Shamanistic guidance enhanced with ancient archetypes, James Hammons’ self-taught art is a mystical wonderland of color and character. “Enchantism” is his genre, for he feels enchantment is the oldest form of healing. “Let’s take a magical trip back to that which made us whole.” Educated at the University of Redlands with a graduate degree from the University of Southern California, extensive travels and stays through Mexico and the jungles of Central America, years of living and studying art in Europe, Hammons’ innovative images are shown and loved throughout the world. He is also a screenwriter and poet, having adapted for theatrical screenplay best-selling novels by such artists as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sydney Sheldon, and Jackie Collins. www.JamesHammonsArts.com and www.JamesHammonsArtCards.com


"Last Light Morongo Basin"

Debra Holladay – Pomona, California
Debra Holladay paints what makes her happy: her figurative work, landscapes, and still-life paintings capture moments in time to amuse, illuminate, educate, and fascinate. A native Californian, she paints both in the studio and en plein air. Recent painting trips include Joshua Tree National Park, a pack trip to Lake Ediza in the eastern Sierras, and the central California coast. Holladay is an artist member of the California Art Club, a founding member of Studio2310 (an artist’s co-op in Duarte, CA), and a founding member of PAC6—a group of artists dedicated to painting the beauty of our natural resources. Formal training includes a BFA in Advertising Design; figure/portrait painting for six years at the Art Students League of New York; and plein-air landscape painting for three summers in Central Park. www.debraholladay.net


Chris Hubble – Los Angeles, California
As a pioneer of night photography, Chris Hubble’s name is synonymous with night photography. “Yeah, I guess I caught an Edwin Hubble gene along the way!” His vast experience pushed him to try something he had never seen before and this is now well known as light painting. His first experiment light painting was in Joshua Tree National Park. He saw an inspiring rock formation with a crescent moon in the background. During a 30-second exposure, he lit up the formation with a flashlight. Shooting with black and white film, he had to wait until he got back to New York to have the film processed to see the results. “Oh man! It was incredibly rewarding when I put the lupe down on that contact sheet! I had created a unique image with a style never seen before and I was hooked!” Hubble recently moved to Los Angeles to be closer to the national park. www.chrishubble.com


"Split Rock View"

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

"Jack Rabbit"

Jessie Keylon – Joshua Tree, California
Jessie Keylon is a self-taught artist raised by a creative family of makers. She spends most of her time outdoors connecting with the imperfect perfection of nature. Keylon’s paintings capture emotional moments in her subjects’ lives, sometimes catching them in the midst of an existential crisis. She has shown her work in her former city of San Diego at numerous galleries downtown and San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park. Artist Republic Gallery in Laguna Beach holds a collection of her smaller works, and has had several of her larger works in shows. As a newly arrived Joshua Tree local, Keylon has been enamored with the wildlife of the desert. She has shown in the Joshua Tree Art Gallery and Gallery 62. She is a member of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council and will be participating in the 2016 Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours in October. www.jessiekeylon.com


"Running Out of the Box"

Kathy Kleinsteiber – San Jose, California
Kathy Kleinsteiber is a Northern California nature artist who escaped the Silicon Valley tech industry to follow her lifelong passion for creating art. She loves to explore nature and to create artwork based on what she sees along the trail, and is especially drawn to painting wildlife. She has studied art at several colleges, museums and art centers, and has a certificate in Botanical Art from Filoli Center in Woodside, California. Her artwork has been shown in many juried exhibitions, including shows at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, California, the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona, the Natural History Museum at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and Yosemite National Park. “I find it so exciting when I see wildlife, both large and small, whether the animal is living in the wild or has adapted to life among humans. I want to share my sense of awe through my artwork.” www.kathykleinsteiber.com

"Female Coyote"

Adam Labuen – Palm Springs, California
Born and raised in Palm Springs, CA, Adam Labuen was surrounded by the Coachella Valley’s rich wildlife. Hiking through the arid deserts and lush canyons, he had an appreciation of nature at an early age. Throughout the years, this admiration led him to the path of a science illustrator and wildlife artist. He advocates for the preservation of native wildlife and plants, and the biodiversity in their respective habitats. He has traveled to Kauai, Hawaii, for an artist in residence at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens; to Kyoto, Japan, to co-illustrate a book on Japan’s agrarian culture; and to the Smithsonian to work with entomologists illustrating recently discovered insects. For his gallery work, he creates with a more loose style in comparison to his science illustrations. He attempts to evoke the spirit of the animal, plant, or insect. Labuen has exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and the Philippines. www.adamlabuen.com

"Joshua Tree in Copper and Bronze"

Noreen Lawlor – Joshua Tree, California
Noreen Lawlor has lived in Joshua Tree for 10 years, and since moving here has tried to capture the feeling of the landscape both external and internal in her art. She works in various mediums. In her most recent works with metallic acrylic on canvas, she tries to covey the stark intensity of the desert, the clarity and color of hammered copper and bronze that exudes from the rocks and mountains. Lawlor has BA and MFA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and attended art programs including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Ventura College, and Copper Mountain College. She has worked with numerous fine art teachers and attended workshops in diverse mediums, including sculpture, printmaking, watercolor, acrylics, and ceramics. She has shown in galleries in the Morongo Basin, the Ojai Valley, and Palm Springs. She is in the process of publishing a book called Matilija Days, which is a compilation of her poems and paintings.

"Stop & Look"

Nadine Messier – Long Beach, California
An artist since childhood, drawing was Nadine Messier’s first creative outlet. In high school and college she was trained traditionally and earned degrees in both Graphic Design and Illustration in the era before personal computers. All of her hand skills were developed thorough experimentation in acrylic paint, cut paper, and mixed-media. During sophomore year in art school, she began to develop an abstracted style of graphic, organic shapes, and bold, saturated color. Flat in appearance yet dimensional in effect, it was a new technique that she began to explore. After graduation, she moved to New York City and pursued work in the graphic design field. After a successful 10-year career in magazine publishing, she relocated to Los Angeles in 2000. In addition to forming a graphic design studio, she recently completed an architectural program and rediscovered and revived her love of drawing, which is now done digitally. www.tikiwahine.com

"Of Heaven and Earth Samuelson Rock"

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 seven books on the Park. His extensive collection of Joshua Tree National Park photography spans over 25 years, chronicling a near fanatical obsession with the place. Miramontes’ photography can be seen in books and magazines distributed world-wide. His photography has been juried into the Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition exhibition since 2014.

"Ryan Ranch Ruins"

Chip Morton – Menifee, California
Chip Morton has followed his passion for photography since high school. Self-taught by working in camera stores for 10 years, then working as a freelance assistant for some of the best commercial photographers in southern California, he learned from them the secrets of studio and location photography. After several years as an assistant, he opened a studio in Temecula, California, that serves national and international clients. After 20 years in business, he is now focusing on nature and fine art photography. He still does product photography, but chances are you’re more likely to catch him at Joshua Tree National Park. Morton is a master of articulating light and surface, and he has a unique talent for seeing dynamic compositions. Above all, he is passionate about his work. www.chipmortonphoto.com

"Infrared Joshua Tree"

Dale O’Dell – Prescott, Arizona
Dale O’Dell is a professional photographer and digital artist living in Prescott, Arizona. He studied photography and philosophy at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and was granted a Photography Degree in 1982. Since 1979 he has exhibited in more than 100 group and solo shows, his works have been published internationally, and he’s written for most of the leading photographic magazines and journals. O’Dell is a consummate experimenter and innovator and works with diverse subjects in a variety of styles. He has published 15 art books and is currently hard at work on number 16. He has been creating inventive photographs and digital art for over 35 years. www.dalephoto.com


"Kerygma Series: Journeys XV, Arch 1"

Larry Percy – Troy, Alabama
Larry Percy has been involved in ceramics and/or education more than 40 years, logging 16 years as a public school art educator in Oklahoma and Kansas. In 2001, he accepted a position at Troy University teaching 3-D studio art and heading up the art education program. Percy has been included in notable exhibitions across the U.S., winning numerous awards including an AT&T Merit Purchase Award, adding a piece from the Kerygma Series to the permanent collection of the Stanton Island Institute of Arts and Sciences in New York City. He was awarded Alabama Artist Fellowships in Craft in 2008 and 2012 by the Alabama State Council on the Arts. He was twice designated the Alabama Art Education Association’s Higher Education Art Educator of the Year and was honored as the top Alabama Art Educator of the Year in 2009. Percy holds art education degrees (BS and MEd) from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and an MFA from the University of Kansas. www.exceptionalvessels.com

"Alien Joshua Tree"

Tami Roleff – Yucca Valley, California
Tami Roleff grew up in Minnesota, went to college in Iowa, and married the boy next door. The Marine Corps sent them all over the world until they landed in Yucca Valley, where they’ve lived since 2004. Her travels have influenced her taste in art, and her home has an eclectic mixture of Asian and Southern California art. Roleff’s passion is photographing animals, followed closely by recording the historical artifacts and ruins that show us who we were and how we lived. Her best-selling images, however, are of Joshua trees, the unique symbol of the Mojave Desert. Tami has taken classes and workshops with nationally known photographers, and her photos have received multiple awards. Her photos are in private collections around the country and abroad.


"The Vein"

Lenne Rosen-Kabe – Joshua Tree, California
Lenne Rosen-Kabe is an abstract painter of long standing. Upon graduating from UCLA, she studied and painted at the UCLA Extension studios, then joined the Lubner Studio in Venice, California, for 13 years. Retired from the Federal courts, she paints full-time at her studio in Joshua Tree. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and acquired by several collectors in the U.S. “Working in oil, I consider painting a language that serves to express the ineffable, a point where words end and imagination takes over. The painting process is a dialogue between painter and canvas, a thought process arising from the trouble and contradictions that ensue from spreading paint on canvas.” www.lennerosenkabe.com


"Dangerous Beauty-Joshua
Tree National Park at the Fault"

Laurie Schafer – Yucca Valley, California
Laurie Schafer lives in the high desert near Joshua Tree, California; a sharp contrast to her birthplace in Minnesota. Born in 1955, at the height of Mid-Century Modern, her innate artistic abilities were apparent from the start. She received her degree in Clothing Design. This evolved into her creating Artwear, a deliberate collision of art and fashion. Schafer’s Artwear has received numerous awards and has been published by distinctive books and magazines. Her Artwear is found in museums, galleries, and private collections. Her focus evolved from Artwear to creating Textile Art, literally painting with fabric. Schafer’s move to the desert has influenced another evolution in her art, and she is now painting desert vistas with a Mid-Century Modern aesthetic. www.facebook.com/LaurieSchaferDesigns


"Desert Rhapsody"

Esther Shaw – Yucca Valley, California
Esther Shaw, a Boston native, 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 University of California, 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 exhibitor and 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 2012; and was exhibitor, owner, curator of The Spezzano Gallery, Long Beach. She is a member of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council. www.EstherShawsArt.com

"Near Jumbo Rocks"

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 more than 20 years of experience and widely collected on three continents, Skelly continues to find expression in the beauty of our natural world. He has exhibited in the Palm Springs Art Museum, the National Arts Club in New York, and other juried shows. Recent awards include first place at the Yosemite Renaissance XXVIII juried 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

"Night Flight Over the Mojave"

Rachel Slick – Tucson, Arizona
Born in Ocean Beach, Rachel Slick studied with Joe Mugnaini in California, and for two years at Gerrit Rietveld in Amsterdam. Her career focused on public art sculpture from 1999 to 2011, culminating in a $100,000 commission for the State of New York. Her work is permanently installed across the country. In 2012, she was diagnosed with neurological disabilities. She took a break from large scale sculpture and began a deep exploration into her first loves, Contemporary Retablos and Milagros. Her contemporary Milagros recall the traditional tiny charms that her aunties pinned on saints. Slick’s are large scale, tactile, and colorful. Calaveras sprout life in the midst of transformation, hearts crack open with joy and sadness. Retablos in their traditional form are paintings to express gratitude for life’s blessings. Translated to Slick’s art, they are a celebration of the weird, wild and wonderful flora and fauna of the American Southwest. www.artofrachelslick.com


Heather Sprague – Yucca Valley, California
Quantum Physics, Fractals, Sacred Geometry; Heather Sprague, photographer and longtime resident of the Morongo Basin is constantly thinking about the infinitely small, as well as the vastness of the world around us. The building blocks are the same, regardless of size, and thus show our connectedness with everything around us. Sprague uses an iPad to manipulate her photography, by applying mathematical formulas relating to fractals and showing an alternate view of reality, which Quantum Physics says is going on all around us. “I think you can see this best in the desert. By looking out at the vastness of it all, and in contrast, by looking closely at the intricate worlds that appear, only when we look very closely. What was once a boulder, is now a grain of sand.” Sprague holds two BA degrees from the University of California, Davis, one in Art History and one in Studio Art. www.feylittlewingphotography.com

"Supersized Jack"

Karine Swenson – Joshua Tree, California
Karine Swenson grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The closest neighbor to the family home was a mile away. Her family did lots of things outdoors—hiking, skiing, sailing, swimming. After receiving her BA from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, Swenson moved to Colorado. After a number of years in Colorado, she and her husband spent a few years in Hawaii. Whether it was mountains in Colorado, the ocean around Maui, Hawaii, and now the desert near Joshua Tree, California, Swenson feels the most at home out in nature. Her love of hiking, skiing, surfing, and being outdoors has continued to this day. In the studio, she explores her relationship with the natural world with paint. Swenson has been a full time artist for the past 10 years. Her work has been collected worldwide. www.KarineSwenson.com


"Critical Mass"

John Van Vliet – Joshua Tree, California
John Van Vliet has worked in graphics, animation, and feature film visual effects for more than 35 years. Starting off as an animator at Industrial Light & Magic, he then went to Disney and eventually opened an independent visual effects company. Van Vliet designed and supervised visual effects on many films with clients that included Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Warner Bros., and MGM, ultimately being involved with more than 70 film projects, including Ghost, Mortal Kombat, Tales From the Crypt, Ghostbusters, and X-Men. Now retired from the motion picture business, he lectures at film schools, consults, and spends the rest of his time pursuing his art and photography while wandering the deserts of the Southwest. www.bentpictures.com

"Baby Tortoise"

Chrisanthy Vargo – Lantana, Florida
As a child, Chrisanthy Gumas Vargo was always creating. She pursued her love of art at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, and received her BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. In 1983, she moved to Florida and worked in the fine jewelry trade creating many unusual pieces. While homeschooling her children she explored with earthenware, creating wheel thrown vessels and clay sculptures. In 2005, Chrisanthy Vargo received a commission from the Town of Hypoluxo to create four bronze sculptures for display at their Natural Area. She has worked with Robert St Croix and other artists, lending her attention to detail to create sculptures on permanent and public display. Most notable of these is a bronze alligator she sculpted that cruises the Caribbean on the Oasis of the Seas. Currently Vargo is spreading her love of art and creativity at her “real job” as a high school art teacher. www.chrisanthy.com

"Joshua Tree Sunrise-Headstone Rock"

Sal Vasquez – Palmdale, California
Plein air and contemporary western artist Sal Vasquez is a native of Southern California who, as a young painter just out of school, struck up friendships with the plein air artists working in the San Gabriel Valley's "Artists Alley" in Alhambra. Vasquez painted alongside Sam Hyde Harris, Karl Albert, and Don Miles. Other artists that painted in "Artists Alley" were Frank Tenny Johnson and in the summer months Norman Rockwell. Vasquez attended California State University at Los Angeles and the Art Center School of Design, where he met movie poster artist Reynold Brown and western artist Don "Putt" Putman. Through his association with these two artists, Vasquez became interested in painting western themes and began populating his landscapes with the icons of the west. Many of his paintings document the vanishing cattle ranchers and horsemen of the high desert where he now resides. www.sal4art.com


Martha Villegas – 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, painting and teaching art lessons. She is a member of the Artists Council of Palm Springs Art Museum, California Art Club, 29 Palms Artists’ Guild, and LPAPA, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. www.marthaevillegas.com

"Keeping Cool"

Krista Wargo – Yucca Valley, California
Krista Wargo was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a degree in Fine Arts. Upon graduation, she moved to Southern California. She went on to become a teacher, and also earned a Master's in Education degree. Initially, her paintings came from her imagination. Gradually, she became more and 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” (outside). For the past few years, her work has been exclusively done on site without the use of photographs. She will often return to the same spot several times to complete a painting. Krista currently teaches high school art and lives in the Mojave Desert mountains with her husband, two dogs, and three cats. www.kristawargoart.com

"The Path"

Echo Westover – Yucca Valley, California
Echo Westover was raised in Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley, California. She is a full-time artist, wife, and mother of two boys, with a third due this fall. Her high school art teacher encouraged her to explore various mediums and techniques in an independent study program. Her senior year, she received first place in an art competition, which earned her a scholarship to the Art Institute of California, Inland Empire, for Graphic Design. While attending the Art Institute, she partnered with her mother and created their business, Larger Than Life Murals. They have painted over 60 public, private, and exhibition murals since 2007. Westover is currently working on a gallery collection of desert paintings which transition from color to black and white. Viewers of her work usually connect first with the realistic aspects, and then discover the dream-like facets of her paintings which guide them into her total vision. www.largerthanlifemurals.com

"Mission Mill Tank"

Andy Willinger – Yucca Valley, California
Andy Willinger is an artist and photographer originally from New York City. As the son of a Madison Avenue creative director, and the stepson of a photojournalist, he was raised to appreciate the importance of visual style and clever storytelling. He studied at Boston University, earning a BS Degree in Broadcasting and Film. While there, he honed his skills as a writer, filmmaker, photographer, musician and club DJ, spending his summers working as an assistant for top magazine photographers in Manhattan. He came to Los Angeles in 1990, where he soon fell in love with the capacious horizons of the desert. While establishing a successful career in television, Willinger has been a devoted explorer of the delicate beauty and unforgiving desolation of the American Southwest. The focus of his photographic work is to capture nature’s ability to overcome man’s attempt to conquer it. He lives in Yucca Valley, CA. www.andywillinger.com

"Joshua Tree"

Kim Zarney – Cleveland, Ohio
Born in Medina, 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. Recently renewing his fine arts career, Zarney is building a body of work with a specific focus on monochrome landscapes and abstract expressions of the natural world. “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.” Zarney’s work has been exhibited in juried shows across the U.S. and is in numerous public and private collections. www.zarney.com


Featured Artists of Years Past

Featured Artists 2015

Featured Artists 2014

Featured Artists 2013