2017 Art Exposition

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Featured Artists

Joshua Tree National Park Juried Art Exhibition 2017

Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition 2017 had yet another an overwhelming response to the Call for Art Entries. This year's juried art exhibition received 290 entries from 120 artists across the globe. Selected for the exhibition were 63 artists from California, the United States, Canada and Poland, whose artwork depicts or is inspired by the natural beauty and/or cultural history of Joshua Tree National Park.

First Place


"Glow Boulders"

Linda Brown | Claremont, California | www.LindaBrownArt.com
Linda Brown grew up with equal passions for nature and oil painting. It was inevitable that, in 2007, she would expand her already established art career to paint the yet unspoiled landscapes of the Great American West full-time. Since then, she has worked relentlessly in the field and studio, as well as study with contemporary masters Ralph Oberg, Matt Smith, and Kathleen Dunphy, to perfect her craft. Brown’s style of painterly realism captures the special feeling of a place and celebrates all the colors, textures, and moods of nature. In particular, the way sunlight plays on a surface, be it a mountain range or a single stone, will capture her heart and demand to be painted. An award-winning artist, Linda Brown’s work has been included in many national juried exhibitions, invitational museum shows, and cherished private art collections throughout the Western United States.

Second Place


"Domino Rock"

Greg Lucker | Murrieta, California | www.GSLPhotography.com
Photographer Greg Lucker was awarded the 2014 Joshua Tree National Park Council for the Arts Stephen Willard Award for his black and white photograph, “Til Death.” He has developed his craft from portraits, weddings, even rock concerts, to landscapes and nature. He has been published often for his ability to capture what he calls “that moment,” and has had two gallery showings of his concert work, most recently at the Merc in Old Town Temecula, California. One selection from his concert gallery earned him museum credit at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, and selections from his landscape gallery have been published, including work by California State Parks. “In capturing my images, I look for locations, and scenes, that will be familiar or comfortable to the viewer. I chose a simplistic approach, which I feel allows the photograph to be enjoyed, easy to look at, and in some cases, may awaken their memory.”

Third Place


"Step This Way"

Gerhard Kammer | Joshua Tree, California | www.GerhardKammer.com
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 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 Art Exposition juried exhibitions 2013 to 2016.

Honorable Mention


"Desert Path"

Lee Edwards | Duarte, California | www.edwardsfineart.com
Lee Edwards is an artist working in Duarte, California. He was born in Los Angeles and educated at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio as well as the University of Southern California where he earned an MFA degree. Since 2007 he has created landscapes in oil and has exhibited at the Huntington Library and Museum Botanical Center, the Oil Painters of America National Exhibition, and in the OPA Western Regional Exhibitions. Additionally, his paintings have been juried into painting exhibitions by the Long Beach Art Museum, the California Art Club, the Joshua Tree National Park Art Exhibition, and various gallery shows. He is a featured artist at the Hillside Fine Art Gallery in Claremont, California.

Honorable Mention


"After the Storm"

Chip Morton | Menifee, California | www.chipmortonphoto.com
Chip Morton started photographing Joshua Tree National Park years ago when everyone thought the Joshua trees, like the park’s boulders, would live on forever. He shot the quiet beauty of the Joshua trees on hot desert days, during snow storms, in rain, in twilight. “Season after season, with no real agenda, I joyfully returned to the park for these photographic adventures. Then one day something happened. I began to feel a deep connection to the Joshua trees…. 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.” Currently, he has 5,000+ images of Joshua trees and the park. Morton has been the official photographer for the annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival for years and provides landscape photography for several southern California municipalities.

Honorable Mention


"During the Storm"

Doug Shoemaker | Palm Springs, California | www.dougshoemakerwatercolors.com
In 2014, Doug Shoemaker was selected as Artist-in-Residence at Joshua Tree National Park. The proposal for his work was Rock/Sky Juxtaposition. “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.” He began his art residency in late February 2015, living for three weeks at the remote Lost Horse Cabin in the park. His goal was to produce a series of watercolors of the rock formations in the park, using both plein-air painting and working from digital photography. “My interest and focus as a realist painter, using the medium of watercolor, is to explore various elements that can be seen as ‘ordinary and uneventful,’ but full of richness, complexity, and beauty.”

Honorable Mention


"Live Oak Picnic Area"

Jim Smart | Joshua Tree, California | www.jimsmartphotography.com
Jim Smart developed an interest in photography 55 years ago when he took a high school course and made a pinhole camera, shot with a Speed Graflex, and took surfing photographs in Hermosa Beach with a 35mm Pentax. Since then he has traveled throughout the western United States and used Leicas, Hasselblads (film and digital), a Mamiya 7 medium format film camera, a Pentax 6X7 medium format camera, and owned or used most of Canon cameras made since the 1970s and Fujifilm digital cameras. Smart was forced to “enlist” in the digital revolution a few years ago when he became the advisor to the Coyote Chronicle, the school newspaper at California State University, San Bernardino, where he teaches journalistic writing and photography. He is now proficient in Adobe Photoshop and teaches basic photography. He also teaches a black-and-white photography course for the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park.

Honorable Mention


"Field of Joshuas"

Remi JaBuh | Scottsdale, Arizona | www.RemiArizonaArt.com
Born in 1952 to an Army family, Remi JaBuh traveled the world studying and practicing art and photography as a youth and young adult in Japan, Germany, Italy, Washington DC, Korea, and along the Orient Express. From young adult to middle age, he attended many craft shows and dabbled in various crafts, but at age 63 he began a serious new career as a painter, specializing in acrylic paints on plywood. His desert subjects have been preserved on prints using the giclee process. The beautiful prints are available to collectors at modest prices. His first major showing will be announced later this year.


"Lightening Kachina"

Pam Ambrosio | Tucson, Arizona | www.AAMAMetalArts.com
Artists Pam Ambrosio and Joan Adams began AAMA metal arts in May 2017 with the intention of designing, producing, and sharing their interpretation of the beauty that surrounds them in the desert southwest. AAMA Design’s mission is to produce three-dimensional mixed media metal statues and wall art designed to bring smiles to customers’ faces and joy to their hearts. Their stand-alone, three-dimensional metal art using salvaged metals may be viewed from multiple angles and are suitable for indoor and outdoor environments. “Our designs are guided by our love of the spiritual, our respect for the environment, our desire to create joy, and our passion for mixed media art!” They promote sustainability through material re-use and charitable donations.

 


"Desert Dance"

Raini Armstrong | Joshua Tree, California
Lucky to have grown up around artists her entire life, Raini Armstrong has attended art shows around the country and has been exposed to fine art and crafts from their creation to their sale. Her love for the art world grew when she began dabbling in photography and watercolors in the late 1990s. She has called the desert her home for more than 20 years, and she still is amazed at how brilliant the skies are, how magnificent the vistas and rock cathedrals are, and how lively nature can become only to slip into near silence during the heat of the day. As the desert provides endless opportunities for art, Armstrong simply attempts to convey the beauty she sees and share it with her friends and family.


"High Desert Landscape"

Robert Arnett | Glendora, California | www.RobertArnettFineArt.com
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 a 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 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.


"Rock and Road"

Chin J. Baham | Las Vegas, Nevada | www.ArtistJenny.com
Artist Chin J. “Jenny” Baham started her Eagle Series of Grand Canyon in the autumn of 2011. This inspired her to paint all the national parks across the United States, which is her current project. “I would like to visit every national park by myself and experience different atmospheres, no matter what the weather is, a good day or a bad day. It just reflects the real life. What sets me apart from the others is that I paint ‘the air,’ which means that from morning to night, from sunrise to sunset, from rainstorm to clear day, the air changes everything that we see. Every national park is so unique and different.” Baham’s art tries to bring the conversation of “wild nature” to people, to show the natural beauty of these protected areas to the civilized world, and to encourage our next generation to go outdoors and explore the world.

 


"Desert Spirit"

Penelope Benson-Wright | Twentynine Palms, California
Penelope Benson-Wright has been creating art for more than 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 New York City, which featured ceramic artists; taught Japanese Ceramics and Culture at Skidmore College; apprenticed with a master potter 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 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.


"Old Man Tortoise"

Valerie Messervy Birkhoff | Grass Valley, California | www.valsworth.com
Valerie Messervy Birkhoff graduated from Portland State University with a BS in Arts and Letters. She has spent the last 40 years exploring her artistic voice. At this time she is dedicated to creating, expanding, and showing her work. She has participated in Joshua Tree National Park Council for the Arts juried show since 2014, and won a second place award in 2015. In 2016 she became a member of the Sacramento Fine Arts Center and has won two awards including “Best of Show” for the “On the Wall” Exhibition in 2016. Her studio is part of the Open Studios for Nevada County, California. She is currently participating is several groups in her area that are studying sculpture, figurative drawing, and painting.


"Desert Fox"

Teal Buehler | Trona, California | www.tealbuehler.com
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.”

 


"Woman of Night"

Hannah Campbell | Joshua Tree, California
Hannah Campbell is an elementary school teacher who ties art projects into nearly every school subject. She was raised in Yucca Valley and lives now in Joshua Tree. When she is not teaching, she travels the world and sketches everything she experiences with her Inktense pencils, which she discovered during a stint teaching overseas at an American school in Singapore. There she acquired a set of 72 pencils. She was fascinated by the medium; the pencils would go down on paper just like any color pencil, but add water to the drawing, and it would explode with color. Now, the pencils are her main go-to for any artwork. She loves using them for her desert creations because they create vivid color, just like how she sees the desert. “I want people to be able to see my home with my eyes. I want them to see the beauty I see in it.”


"Power in the Park"

Chuck Caplinger | Twentynine Palms, California | www.desertartstudio.com
Chuck Caplinger’s award-winning creations hang in collections around the world, and his historical murals are in cities throughout California and Texas. 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 an exhibition titled “The West—From the Reservation to the Range—A Retrospective,” which also featured bronzes by Russell and Remington. Caplinger has been instrumental in promoting the arts and cultural tourism in the Hi-Desert, co-founding in 2001 the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council and annual Open Studio Art Tours (now Hwy 62 Art Tours). In 2004, he co-founded the City of Twentynine Palms’ Art in Public Places and Public Arts Advisory Committee. In 2009, he designed the city’s iconic 29! sculpture. Caplinger’s love of the desert and all things southwest has inspired his many series of oils on canvas.


"Nuclear Jimi"

Larry James Carpenter | San Marcos, California | www.LarryJamesCarpenter.com
Veteran photographer, artist, and educator Larry James Carpenter of San Marcos, California, 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. “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.”


"Superbloom"

Janis Commentz | Yucca Valley, California | www.JanisCommentz.com
Janis Commentz is a painter and third generation Los Angeles artist. She moved to the Mojave Desert in 1977 to teach high school after earning a BA in Art and English at the University of Redlands. She studied printmaking with John Nava, well-known for his tapestries at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. She holds an MA in Education from California State University at San Bernardo (CSUSB). Commentz founded and facilitated the Morongo Basin Life Drawing League (2007-2015). She served as gallery director of Gallery 62 (2016) and has participated in the Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours, Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition juried exhibitions, Joshua Tree National Park Spring Art Festival, CSUSB Spring Art Show, and the “Pop Up” Art Gallery in Joshua Tree, Six Chicks. She exhibits locally and in Redlands and Riverside, California.


"Climbers Rocks Revisited"

Jane Culp | Anza, California | www.janeculpart.com
With a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and an MFA from Yale Art School, then post-grad life-drawing sessions at the New York Studio School, Jane Culp’s early work was influenced by life drawing from the figure, while her studio painting was rooted in East Coast Abstract Expressionism. In the last 30 years, these concerns for communicating painted emotional presence have translated into working landscape paintings on site within wilderness areas through artist residencies in western national parks, Maine boundary islands, and within the high desert of her home in Southern California and travels up the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range. “My paintings are bound into a fierce love of those raw sculpted Western earth forms pounded by strong winds and unforgiving daylight, that talk to me and reach out, gesturing from an immense space which attaches to an ever present horizon line sporting caricatures of stubby balancing vegetation.”


"Salton Sea from Keys View"

Doug Dolde | Joshua Tree, California | www.DouglasDolde.com
Prior to doing photography full time, Doug Dolde worked as an aerospace design engineer on projects including custom aircraft interiors and rocket engines. He has been photographing the landscape of the American West since 2001, beginning with 4x5 inch transparency film, and currently a Phase One IQ180 eighty megapixel medium format digital system. His work is shown and sold at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, Desert Art Center in Palm Springs, Borrego Art Institute in Borrego Springs, and JTAG in Joshua Tree, California. A total work flow from capturing and editing the image to producing and framing the final print is essential in producing a fine art piece of the highest quality possible. “My ‘Impressions’ series are not straight photographs. They are rather digitally manipulated to produce an image that expresses how I felt when I was there. They have smoother details and give the photographs a painterly look.”

 


"Joshua Tree 2"

Celeste M. Evans | Ojai, California | www.celesteevans.com
Celeste M. Evans is an artist working and living in Ojai, California, where she was raised. In 2011, she graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Art, and is currently a member of the Ojai Studio Artists. Her artistic output revolves around contemplating and depicting nature while bringing attention to humanity’s involvement with the natural world. Working in painting, mixed media, and photography, she exhibits her work in galleries and non-gallery spaces around Southern California. In addition to visual art, she composes and performs music in the duo project Caduceus, and writes poetry, prose, and various ideas on art and culture. Her visual, musical, and literary work can be found on her website, along with her painting series The Joshua Tree Lifecycle.

 


"Ocotillo"

Marilyn Fernald | Twentynine Palms, California
Marilyn Fernald, jeweler, goldsmith, artist, began painting the desert’s beauty while growing up in the desert. She joined the workforce as a bookkeeper for a local jeweler and became fascinated with all facets of the jewelry industry. Eventually she owned her own business, designing and selling fine jewelry. After years in the jewelry industry, she retired, and followed her dream to expand her art and see where her need to create might go. An opportunity to own a small art gallery and gift shop gave her a chance to create and sell one-of-a-kind, metal and leather sculptures, gourd art, and oil paintings. She hopes each piece of original art, inspired by the love of the desert, will bring joy to the viewer.

 

 

 


"Great Horned Owl"

David Flatt | Vancouver, BC, Canada | www.davidflatt.ca
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. 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, 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.


"Path Near White Tank"

Marcia Geiger | Landers, California | www.geigarts.com
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, 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. “As an artist, I see paintable moments around every corner. I discovered this inviting spot during a hike near White Tank Campground.”


"Shaman"

Michael E. Gordon | Long Beach, California | www.Michael-Gordon.com
Michael E. Gordon is an award-winning photographic artist best known for his monochromatic images of the California desert which, says Broughton Quarterly, portray “stunning ethereal beauty from terrain where others see only a bleak landscape.” A lifelong student of nature and wilderness, Gordon’s intimate relationship with the natural world results in quiet images of depth and discovery. His prints are held internationally in the private collections of the United States Embassy, Kaiser Permanente, Milken Family Foundation, The Wilderness Society, and many others. His photographs have been published in and on the covers of numerous magazines, calendars, brochures, annual reports, textbooks, music CDs, and newspapers. His work has been awarded by the International Photography Awards, Prix de la Photographie Paris, and Black & White Spider Awards. His photographs have been instrumental in the campaigns of The Wilderness Society, Pew Charitable Trusts, National Parks Conservation Association, and others.


"Which Way Eclipse"

James Hammons | Sugarloaf, California | www.JamesHammonsArts.com
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, and inspired by extensive travels and stays through Mexico and the jungles of Central America, and years of living and studying art in Europe, Hammons creates innovative images that are shown and loved throughout the world.
 

 

 


"Backcountry 2"

Timothy Hearsum | Yucca Valley, California | www.timothyhearsum.com
Timothy Hearsum has been a fine art photographer for more than 30 years. Since the mid-1980s he has spent a portion of each year traveling throughout the deserts and mountains of the Southwest. These journeys “provide inspiration for my creative practice. Recording the forces of nature as well as mankind’s influence on the land will always inform my work.” Hearsum received his BFA from Ohio University and his MFA from the Visual Studies Workshop, State University of New York. He has served as art faculty at SUNY Brockport; Shasta College; UC Santa Barbara; and Brooks Institute of Photography. He also served as Curator of Photography for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Hearsum’s work has been exhibited, collected, and published internationally. Since his move to the high desert in 2015, he shows at Joshua Tree Art Gallery and serves on the Board of Directors for Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency Program.


"Joshua Tree Sentinel"

Shelley Hull | Denver, Colorado | www.shelleyhull.com
Shelley Hull is a contemporary western landscape artist. “The particular light, scale, and forms of the Southwest grab me, inspiring me to draw and paint. I feel the western landscape’s strength and power and respond using a modern painterly sensibility that captures its unique light and scale.” Hull studied art at Yale University, and received an MFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute, College of Art. Her work has been shown at galleries and museums including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City; University Galleries at Illinois State Museum in Normal, Illinois; Goucher College, Baltimore, Maryland; The Brinton Art Museum, Wyoming; NAWA, New York City; art centers in Arvada, Golden, Pueblo, and Grand Junction, Colorado; Tucson, Arizona; and Annapolis, Maryland. She was invited to participate in the Art in Embassies (AIE) program and has art displayed at the US Ambassadorial Residences in Suva, Fiji and Kathmandu, Nepal.


"A Magical Place"

Rose Irelan | Poway, California | www.roseirelan.com
Rose Irelan earned her BA in Illustration from Columbus College of Art and Design. She continued her studies in art after a 20-year career as an art director, studying with Jeffrey Watts, Daniel Pinkham, Ray Roberts, Peggy Kroll Roberts, Carolyn Anderson, and Eric Merrell. Painting “en plein air” and immersed in nature contributes to her bold, expressive brushstrokes and innovative use of color. “I paint to express feelings beyond words...to capture the awe and the beauty of the moment and to illuminate a deeper spirit in Nature. I am especially inspired to capture Nature’s rich and rugged displays of light and color in my work. I want my paintings to convey the entire experience of being outdoors and the terrain; to unveil the deeper soul of a subject....” Irelan is a member of California Art Club, Oil Painters of America, American Impressionists Society, LPAPA (Laguna Plein Air Painters), and American Women Artists.


"Earth Medicine Elders"

Rossana Jeran | Yucca Valley, California | www.blurgirl.com
Rossana Jeran (AKA Blurgirl) is an award-winning writer, director, producer, and VJ. Her body of work includes short and feature films, music videos, visual landscapes, and multi-media projects. Her work has screened across the United States and abroad and has been featured at independent film markets and festivals. Currently, she’s exploring digital realms as a VJ, creating cinematic, video landscapes for events, live music venues, and DJs. Earth Medicine is a series of 4K video stills taken from her City Mandala series, an ongoing video project. Earth Medicine pays homage to the beautiful yet harsh terrain of Joshua Tree National Park, while expressing the fragility and wonder of this magical place. As a visual artist walking her own spiritual and meditative path, Jeran’s work explores the light-to-dark spectrum of the human experience. Behind seemingly beautiful imagery often lies hidden subtext or metaphor, luring the imagination beyond the comfortable, beyond the known.


"Sunrise in the Rain"

Hunter Johnson | Palm Springs, California | www.hunterjohnson.us
Hunter Johnson is a photographer who moved to Palm Springs in 1987 after living in the Bay Area for 20 years; he grew up in Chicago and Tulsa. Johnson began taking photographs in college and used it to document his travels and work as an architect, builder, and developer of affordable housing around California. He jumped into fine art photography with both feet several years ago and works to capture images easily overlooked, showing the present and preserving the past through photography. His work has been featured in galleries and museums across the country, including the Palm Springs Art Museum, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, the Brea City Art Gallery, the Amarillo Museum of Art, the Core New Space for Art (Denver), the Harvey Milk Photography Center (San Francisco), the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, the Los Angeles Center of Photography, the Riverside Arts Council, and the National Weather Center Biennale.


"Agave Agape"

Eileen Kaniefski | Joshua Tree, California
Eileen Kaniefski holds a BA from University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA from University of California, Irvine. She is an accomplished poet, actress, director, teacher, and Marriage/Family Therapist. Sculpture has been her art of choice since childhood, specializing in mixed media and the incorporation of found objects, especially weathered metal. Originally from the East Coast (Pennsylvania), she has lived in Mexico, Nevada, and California. An avowed “desert rat,” she currently resides in Joshua Tree. “There is something about this desert. Besides the spectacular scenery, living here is an intensely sensual experience. The absence of city sound bathes your ears, brain, and spirit in blessed desert silence. Then the trees! Ethereal, indescribable, exquisite, and unforgettable. Hiking here is like a communion of your Self with your own personal, vibrant experience of nature, alone or not.”


"The Real Desert Gold"

Ed Keesling | Yucca Valley, California | www.edsclayworks.com
Artist and retired teacher Ed Keesling received a BA in English with minors in Art and Education from California Lutheran College in 1966 and his MFA from Antioch University in 1977. Following service in the Peace Corps, in 1974 he went to work for Columbia Visual Art Center in Maryland, which became a satellite campus for Antioch University. During the process of development, he became an assistant professor and wrote the curriculum for hand building and Raku pottery. He has worked with Native American forms, images, and pit firing methods; holds a California Teaching Credential for English, Ceramics and Visual Art; and has participated in The California Arts Project. In 2008, he retired, built a new pottery studio, and revived his business from the 1980s, Ed Keesling Clayworks. He is Art Education Coordinator for 29 Palms Art Gallery, Board President of Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, and a member of the National Art Education Association.

 


"Joshua Tree Moonscape 78"

Jessie Keylon | Joshua Tree, California | www.jessiekeylon.com
Jessie Keylon is a self-taught artist raised by a creative family of makers. She spends most of her time outdoors connecting with nature. As a desert dweller, most of her inspiration comes from the desert landscapes and its inhabitants. Keylon’s paintings capture subtle emotional moments, which the subject is sometimes in the process of becoming aware of. She’s been participating in art festivals for three years including both of San Diego’s ArtWalks, ArtWalk Thousand Oaks, and the Indian Wells Arts Festival. She also has participated in shows at Joshua Tree Art Gallery and Gallery 62, as well as the Hwy 62 Open Studio Tours, the 2016 JTNP Art Exposition, the 2017 JTNP Art Festival, and the Joshua Tree Arts and Crafts Festival. She is a member of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council and will be participating in the 2017 Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours in October.


"Keys View Panorama"

Joan Lamensdorf | Pasadena, California | www.joanlamensdorf.com
Joan Lamensdorf is an award-winning artist whose paintings are inspired by the effects of light, shadow, and atmosphere on the landscape and objects around her. Her work challenges the senses as she experiments with color, texture, and light. Her expressive paintings have been featured in numerous solo and group shows and hang in private collections across the country. She is featured in Who’s Who in American Art. “My art is inspired by scenes I pass every day and places I visit in my many travels. I am always moved by how light and shadow transform the colors of the landscape from one day to the next. My goal is to capture the feeling these unique moments evoke.”


"Aura"

Daniel Lee | Yucca Valley, California | www.facebook.com/Daniel-Lee-Productions-1565672397075636
Daniel Lee was born in Palm Springs and raised in the Morongo Basin. He combines his knowledge and fascination with technology to produce work in a variety of disciplines, including photography, digital art, and filmmaking. He uses his technical skill in post-processing to create visually engaging images.

 


"Afternoon Rocks"

Alane Levinsohn | Joshua Tree, California |  www.alane.fineartstudioonline.com
Alane Levinsohn attended California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, now known as California College of the Arts. Before graduation, she had the opportunity to live in Brussels, Paris, and Frankfurt, and spent three years traveling through Europe. She took classes at the school of fine arts in Brussels, and while in Paris, the Louvre became a favorite destination. Upon returning to the States, she worked as a fashion illustrator for department stores. She has exhibited locally and nationally in juried shows, including the Oil Painters of America Salon Show 2016, and she won Best in Show for the 2017 JTAG drawing invitational juried show. Her work has been shown at Saga Gallery in Montrose, Debra Huse Gallery in Laguna Beach, Randy Higbee Gallery in Costa Mesa, Gallery 62 and JTAG in Joshua Tree, among others. She is a participant in the Hwy 62 Art Tours, 2016 and 2017.


"Coyote Strolling"

Lisa Manifold | Twentynine Palms, California | www.fineartamerica.com/profiles/lisa-manifold.html
Framed photographs of Lisa Manifold and her six siblings in ’60s style outfits, hairdo’s and pointedly colorful eye glasses were prominently displayed in her childhood home. The happy memories the photographs evoked, coupled with her newfound love of grandchildren, drove her to purchase a digital camera in 2015. “Little did I know just how much that camera would change my life! One photo after another, click after click; college classes, seminars, and months of photographing, downloading, and posting prompted me to retire and see the world through a Nikon lens, or two or three. What I have and continue to see and experience through a lens, or two or three, is captured in the photos shared through LM Manifold Photography on Facebook, Instagram, and my website.”


"Tranquility at Night"

Ilona Mercier | Yucca Valley, California | www.ilonamercierink.com
Ilona Mercier’s artist journey with alcohol inks began four years ago when she fell in love with the incredibly vibrant colors of this fairly new medium. She went to work exploring the many different techniques used with alcohol inks, while learning to master control over a medium that can seem uncontrollable. Today, she is one of a few alcohol ink artists taking the medium to two ends of the artistic spectrum. Some of her work is rooted in the precisely controlled, detail-orientated approach, whereas other works emerge from the very opposite end of the spectrum where she lets the inks flow and mix with minimal intervention. She is one of the featured alcohol ink artists in the book by Cathy Taylor “Pigments of Your Imagination II” available on Amazon.com. Mercier has resided in Yucca Valley since 1980 and works full time at Copper Mountain College.


"Exposed"

Mitch Miller | Joshua Tree, California | www.fineearthphotography.com
Photographer Mitch Miller’s visual journey began at age 6, marveling at a window reflection of shadows and silhouettes. By age 16, his Polaroid Big Swinger camera rarely left his hands on a six-week trip home to California. Miller has been photographing the mountains and deserts of the southwest since 1981. “I first ventured into Joshua Tree National Monument, Memorial Day, 1980, and although unimpressed by the heat and flat light, I continued to return in more beautiful light, and weather. I fell in love with the monument so much I returned each year for my birthday throughout the 1980s, and married my wife Kathy there in 1999.” Miller has received awards and has presented slideshows for REI and Sierra Club. “My goals are to focus on the art I see in Earth, share I how I felt upon visiting natural lands, and instill a desire to enjoy and protect our sacred wild spaces.”


"Dreaming in Black & White"

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 authored eight books, including seven on the subject of Joshua Tree National Park. His extensive collection of Joshua Tree National Park photography spans over 25 years, chronicling a near fanatical obsession with the place. Miramontes has had hundreds of photographs published in books and magazines world-wide. Now branching into fine-art landscape photography focusing on Joshua Tree National Park, he displays his work at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, as well as local events and art shows. His photography has been juried into the Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition exhibition since 2014.


"Reaching Barker Dam, JTNP"

Darlene Morris | Yucca Valley, California | www.dhmorris.net
Darlene Hansen Morris studied art from her youth, taking art classes in high school and college, and later workshops with well-known artists. Her love of the natural landscape takes her into state and national parks. Painting in Joshua Tree National Park can be a challenge due to weather conditions, so she always takes reference photos for her paintings. Often starting a drawing or watercolor on location, she usually finishes them in the comfort of her studio. The larger acrylic/collage paintings are completed in the studio from reference photos, but never restricted by the photo image. “I strive to make my landscapes familiar, if not recognizable, so if the viewer has been there, they will remember the feeling of the experience. Hiking the trails and climbing the boulders in the park make indelible impressions. I hope my paintings will revive the experiences for the viewers.”


"Between Day and Night"

Izabela Pawlaczyk | Koszalin, Poland | www.iluzjadesign.pl
Izabela Pawlaczyk was born and raised in Koszalin near the Baltic Sea. During her education she developed an interest in fine arts and decided to focus on design. She obtained a master’s degree in industrial design in 2005. Pawlaczyk is the author of a number of furniture projects, including modular sets that have been entered in mass production. She also has created new forms and jewelry, all the time working to develop her painting skills. Her thematic series have been shown in solo and group exhibitions. “My art is inspired by Nature. In my projects I try to keep admiration and respect which I have for the world surrounding us. I use water-based paints, acrylics, natural pigments, and also combine different techniques. I try to express the tremendous power of Nature through a specific atmosphere, colors, details, and stains. My main goal is to show how exciting and beautiful is our planet.”


"Road to Keys Ranch"

Christopher Pecharka | Laguna Niguel, California | www.ChristopherPecharka.com
Christopher Pecharka is best known for his public art commissions in Dana Point, California. These include the bronze sculptures “The Top Men” at The Ocean Institute, the Veteran’s Memorial, the Doris Walker Tribute Memorial, and the mural at the Nature Interpretive Center. Pecharka was in high school when given his first private commission. A graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, he has worked in myriad occupations as an artist. Staying true to being hands-on, he strives to continually develop his core skills as a traditional artist. His influences include painters Monet, N.C. Wyeth, and Frazetta, and sculptors Bernini and Manship. Pecharka works in many mediums including oil and acrylic paintings, sculptures, murals, illustrations, and drawings. His realism and impressionistic-style paintings include a multitude of subject material including landscapes, seascapes, people, animals, and abstract. Pecharka lives in Laguna Niguel with his wife and two rescue dogs.


"Rock Near Twin Tanks"

Elisabeth Pollnow | Twentynine Palms, California | www.elisabethpollnow.com
Elisabeth Pollnow’s recent work incorporates clay she makes herself using locally found materials and primitive smoke-firing methods. She grew up in remote areas of North Dakota and Alaska, which gave her a deep sense of connection to nature. She earned a BA in art from Evangel University in Missouri and pursued graphic design for several years. After moving to Southern California, she began to investigate three-dimensional forms and diverge from digital involvement in her artistic process. She has collaborated with several large-scale sculpture projects in Los Angeles as well as exhibited in Pasadena and San Fernando, California. She is a member of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, 29 Palms Art Gallery, and Gallery 62 near where she lives in Twentynine Palms.


"Third Rock from the Sun"

Andrea Raft & Aaron Sedway | Indio, California | www.andrearaftstudio.com
A collaboration between mother and son, both passionate about recording and sharing their love of the natural world, Andrea Raft is a Coachella Valley mixed media artist and her son Aaron Sedway is a Sierra Nevada sports and nature photographer. They combine their love of the outdoors in a unique medium of photography and mixed media painting. Both native to Los Angeles, they have shown their work professionally for the past 15 years in a host of disparate environments. Aaron is well known for his action shots of extreme sports, and his work has graced the pages of many sports and adventure publications. Andrea is a juried member of the National Association of Women Artists, Women Painters West, and has served as a board member of the Artists Council at Palm Springs Art Museum. They are currently showing their collaborative work at Coda Gallery in Palm Desert and Spirit Gallery in Truckee, California.


"Keys Ranch"

David Sabet | San Clemente, California
Photographer and Doctor David Sabet started his career in medicine at the same time he began taking photographs. “Medicine gives me concentration; photography gives me freedom and limitless possibilities. I prefer to be outside taking pictures of the night sky, the ocean, mountains or desert. The serenity is priceless. Through photography a story or eternity can be captured in a single image. San Clemente in coastal Orange County is my home and southern California offers a moveable feast for photographers.”

 


"Smoke Tree in Bloom"

Esther Shaw | Yucca Valley, California | www.EstherShawsArt.com
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 of the SCA Project Gallery, Pomona, and past studio holder of Santora Arts Building, Santa Ana, California. She was selected in 2004 for 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 Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, is co-director of Gallery 62 in Joshua Tree, and has been selected for art competitions including the Palm Springs Art Museum Artists Council 2017.


"Catching the Glow"

Marie Van Dorp Skelly | Sunland, California
Southern California artist Marie Van Dorp Skelly graduated from California State University, Northridge, in 1987 and continued her studies at the California Art Institute. She has exhibited in numerous venues and juried exhibitions, including the Palm Springs Art Museum, Yosemite National Park Museum, and she most recently exhibited in “Power and Voice,” a women’s art show at the Baldwin Park Museum in California. Classically trained as a fine artist, she has been an Instructor for more than 20 years for Mission: Renaissance Fine Art Classes, providing fine art instruction for children and adults. “I enjoy combining abstract and impressionistic painting styles, inspired by glowing light.”


"Reaching for the Rain"

Heather Sprague | Yucca Valley, California | www.feylittlewingphotography.com
Heather Sprague, photographer and longtime resident of the Morongo Basin, sees the world a little differently than most. A lover of Quantum Physics and Sacred Geometry, she uses an iPad to manipulate her photography, by applying the mathematical formulas relating to these two sciences, and she seeks to share an alternate view of reality, one of an infinite number of possibilities that Quantum Physics says is going on all around us. “Everything is connected, and through my photography, I seek to show that whether we understand what is around us, or not, we share the same building blocks, the same ratios apply, the same potential realities exist, and we are joined by them. To care for ourselves, we must care for the world we live in.” Sprague holds two BA degrees from the University of California, Davis, one in Art History and one in Studio Art.


"Desert Nocturne"

Alexandra Taggart | Santa Fe, New Mexico | instagram.com/alexandradawntaggart
In Alexandra Taggart’s work, she seeks to portray the experience of “being pulled outside of myself and into the wild, natural environment in which I often find myself. When in such an environment, I find myself thinking that there’s so much to take in. Layering ink dots is one of the means by which I’m able to process and portray that which lies before me. This technique helps me to evoke the mysterious, subtle feeling of being in the world, and to gently yet insistently urge people to take a closer look at life, at what is here before them, as well as to ask the bigger questions of living. Why are we here? What is reality, ultimately? And how do we explain human beings’ shifting relationships with nature? The answers to such questions are as nuanced and complex as the media in which I work is layered and textural.”




"Sundown"

Kathryn Tonnessen | Vashon, Washington | www.katetonnessen.com
Kathryn Tonnessen received a BFA degree from the University of Texas, and her work has been shown in galleries and juried exhibitions throughout Washington, Texas, and Wyoming. She works in paint, glass, stone, and jewelry, and draws inspiration for her work in the natural world of stones, minerals, vistas, and the colors of the American west. “The work exemplifies an enduring and deeply rooted love of nature. It reminisces on my childhood filled with extensive travel through the American west as well as my wandering and sometimes gypsy-like adult life moving through and exploring the nooks and crannies of the Rockies and all the land west of them. A love of the cliffs and deserts, the alpine mountains and watery coasts is expressed in every attempt to capture the colors and feelings of these places. My work is a visual love poem to the lands that have nourished and shaped me.”


"Raven"

Travis Usher | Yucca Valley, California
Travis Usher is a lifelong resident of the high desert and surrounding communities. Along with his wife and two daughters, he currently calls the beautiful outskirts of Joshua Tree National Park home. Starting his journey at age nine studying pastel chalks with a local artist, she guided him to first showing his work locally at the Hi-Desert Playhouse. It was an art teacher that introduced him to an array of mediums where he fell in love with painting in oils. Working as a professional artist the last two years, he has mainly focused on commissioned portraits and murals. This past year, Usher was honored to be asked to contribute to a large mural project in Palm Desert, California, were he produced three vaulted acrylic murals alongside a handful of other talented local artists. Travis is currently working on private commissions and preparing to show.


"Magic Moon Over Joshua Tree"

Alita Van Vliet | Joshua Tree, California | www.alitavanvlietart.com
California native and lifelong artist, Alita Van Vliet is known for her bold desert landscapes. Having inspiration literally outside her back door, the artist works out of her Joshua Tree studio overlooking the national park, the open desert, and the village below. Her paintings are described as strong and soulful, with a personal energy that clearly evokes a deep connection to nature and her surroundings. An award winning artist, Van Vliet exhibits her paintings in galleries throughout the southwest and sells to both national and international collectors. She is a regular on the Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours. Her passion for the arts and for the community goes beyond the studio. She served as a juror on the 2016 JTNP Art Exposition selection committee, was a guest artist for Joshua Tree Art Innovation Laboratory series, and has served on the Board of Directors for Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council.


"Ryan Ranch Ruins"

John Van Vliet | Joshua Tree, California | www.bentpictures.com
John Van Vliet has worked in graphics, animation, and feature film visual effects for more than 35 years. He studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and California Institute of the Arts, Character Animation (Disney) program. In 1977 he was lured away 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 lead animator, where he designed many of the signature effects shots. As a freelance visual effects artist, he designed and supervised visual effects on feature films and was involved with 70+ film projects, including Ghost, Mortal Kombat, Tales From the Crypt, Ghostbusters, and X-Men. Retiring from the motion picture business, he moved to Joshua Tree and now spends his time wandering the desert pursuing his personal art and photography projects without adult supervision.


"The Noble Joshua Tree"

Nichole Vikdal | Yucca Valley, California | www.crystalsbynichole.com
Nichole Vikdal has loved pottery all her life. From playing in the mud as a child to her first thrown pot, she was hooked. She has made Yucca Valley her home for more than 25 years and created pottery for just as long. The desert fuels her passion and defines her purpose: To attempt to capture a piece of that nature and hold its allure and elegance in her work. Her passion is crystalline glazing, a process where she grows crystals on the porcelain she throws on her wheel. She has won several awards for her work and has shown in galleries throughout the Morongo Basin and Inland Empire of California. She is currently represented in several locations including the Riverside Art Museum. Vikdal is a member of Associated Artists Inland Empire, Chaparral Artists, Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, and 29 Palms Artistsʼ Guild.

 


"Joshua Rock"

Martha Villegas | Cathedral City, California | www.marthaevillegas.com
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, and California Plein Air Painters.

 


"Overseer"

Krista Wargo | Yucca Valley, California | www.krista-wargo.pixels.com
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 degree in Education. 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. Wargo currently teaches high school art and lives in the Mojave Desert with her husband, two dogs, and three cats.


"Entrapment"

Brice Weaver | San Diego, California | www.briceweaverphotography.com
Brice Weaver’s passion for exploration and adventure lead him to buy his first camera in the spring of 2015. He started to photograph landscapes in order to share the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us. Weaver’s focus is on expansive landscapes that marry the natural world with the human spirit. His compositions express the narrative of truth, found in the beauty of the natural world. He uses the tangible complexity of light and shadows that dance off the mountains and lakes to have this visual conversation. Sharing this sanctuary filled with raw emotion with others is his mission. His landscape photography has been published in Backpacker Magazine and has been featured in art exhibitions at the House of Blues in San Diego and Gallery 21 in Balboa Park, California; The Warsaw, Brooklyn, New York; and Honorable Mention at the Environmental Film Festival in Colorado.


"Rock Study 12

Ehrick Wright | Rancho Mirage, California | www.ehrickwrightart.com
Ehrick Wright’s love of nature and life-long fascination with light, shadow, and flowing lines are evident in all his artwork, which includes paintings, drawings, and pastels. Most recently, his work has been inspired by the bizarre landscape of rocks, hills, and canyons found in Joshua Tree National Park. Faces, torsos, animals, and monsters—all appear in profusion, change with shifting light and shadows, and vary with the beholder. His work attempts to capture these features as well as the bold contrasts and atmospheric clarity found uniquely in the desert. Wright works out of his home in Rancho Mirage, where he has lived since 2003. He attended Massachusetts College of Art, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Decordova Museum School. He has participated in numerous shows since 1990, including South End Open Studios, Rancho Mirage Art Affaire, and Rancho Mirage 2017 Art Tour.


"Desert View"

Jocelyn Young | Placentia, California
People have always thought Jocelyn Young a little different. She never knew quite how to handle this difference—was it a good thing? Or a bad thing? After years of experimenting with the digital camera, she finally took an introspective look at who she really was. She realized that she is different, and maybe a little weird. But she also realized that it is this differentness and weirdness that gives her a unique perspective and forms the basis for her photography. She loves biology, especially animals, and water. Using her backyard pool, she photographs people under the water with her underwater camera. Also enamored with the unique world of infrared photography, she uses a camera that was specifically converted for infrared and has captured images of animals and other subjects. She finds the softness of the infrared images to provide a unique perspective, whether in black-and-white or using the creative colors of infrared.


"Boulders"

Kim Zarney | Cleveland, Ohio | www.zarney.com
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. After renewing his fine arts career, Zarney has built a body of work with a focus on monochrome landscapes and abstract expressions of the natural world. His work has been exhibited in juried shows across the U.S. “I enjoy the physical act of painting. I also have an affinity for the unpretentious honesty reflected in preliminary sketches and studies. Simple, spontaneous gestures put down quickly to capture an idea, a feeling, the play of light, a shadow, or a texture. Pieces that were not created to be thought of or viewed as finished works of art. In most cases, they were never meant to be seen by anyone but the artist. They’re intuitive and very personal.”

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