Kelso Depot Visitor Center hours
Kelso Depot Visitor Center is open Fridays through Tuesdays from 9 am to 5 pm, closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. The Beanery Lunch Counter is closed.
Watch for storm damage on all roads
Recent storms have caused flash flooding and damage to roads. Reduce speed and use caution when traveling through the park after storms. Call 760-252-6100 or 760-252-6108 for updates. Check our Current Conditions page for information on specific roads. More »
New Artist-in-Residence Exhibit to Open
Contact: Linda Slater, 760 252-6122
Contact: Tom Lowe, 323-791-7705
A new photography exhibition, Mojave Moonlight, opens at theDesert Light Gallery in the Kelso Depot Visitor on March 7th andcloses on June 14th.Photographer Tom Lowe presents eighteenlarge-scale images that explore the Mojave landscape with compositions specificto the moon-lit sky.
"Creating a fineart exhibit for Mojave National Preserve's Artist-in-Residence program requiresreflection, introspection, and then interpretation," says Linda Slater, Chiefof Interpretation, "because artists have to develop a thematic from 1.6 millionacres of visual communities and millennia of history. In Mojave Moonlight, Tom Lowe has used moon and starlightas the sole source of illumination. The resulting collection reflects a moodand aspect of the Mojave that even seasoned desert travelers rarely experience."
Tom Lowe lives inLos Angeles and is a successful TV commercial producer. His work has taken himto six continents, and during his downtime he avoids tourist havens. "I'veendeavored to take the road less traveled, eat in cafes frequented only by locals,and walk the streets without a map," said Lowe. "When the opportunity to becomean artist-in-residence for Mojave National Preserve arose, I found anotheropportunity for a road less traveled."
Lowe found that his years of film-location scouting were invaluable forthis project. He discovered his image locations by driving deep into the Mojave,parking his car at sunset, then hiking in to reach cactus, rocks, and dune formations, seekinginspiration in the stillness. "I grew up in the wide-open spaces of the American west where, duringfamily camping trips, I fell in love with the night sky," he noted. "As therest of the family retired to the warmth of the trailer my father towed behindour car, I'd take my sleeping bag and lie down next to the glowing embers ofthe campfire and watch the stars. With this project, I rediscovered the lightshow in the Milky Way blanket— shooting stars mixed with the countlesssatellites that then introduce the moon as it moves on to its western horizon.Night in Mojave Preserve is an astronomical wonder."
The Mojave Moonlight exhibit presents thedesert with a gleam that caresses the rocks, cactus, and wide-open landscapesin a soft glow that takes the edge off a rugged terrain. Combining the moon'ssoft glimmer with crisp starlight and long exposures lifts details from thedark that produce their own aesthetics. While the night imaginary echoes thedistinct character of daylight, Tom Lowe's cinematic styling amply rewardsviewers with a new desert narrative, and a new journey through the vast MojavePreserve.
Tom will beavailable to discuss his work on March 8th from 10 am to 2 pm. Collectorswho wish to own prints may obtain them at the Kelso Depot Visitor Center BookStore. Proceeds from print sales help support a variety of outreach programs at Mojave National Preserve.
Did You Know?
Park or preserve? Like other parks with the designation of "national preserve," Mojave National Preserve is managed under the same guidelines as national parks. The main difference is that hunting is allowed in national preserves, but not in national parks.