Paintings by 2009 Artist-In-Residence Dianne Bennett will be on display at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center through the winter holidays. The exhibit is free to the public.
Inspired by the park’s plants and animals, Bennett created a series of images called retablos that are painted over the existing graphics on salvaged metal signs. Drawing on the Latin American tradition of using religious iconography in devotional paintings, Bennett developed her own iconographic images based on her experiences in the natural world. After spending three weeks at the Lost Horse cabin, she returned to her studio in Ojai to complete the paintings. “I feel transformed and inspired by the memories of the unhurried days making art in the Joshua Tree desert and hope that this series communicates something of my experience,” she said. Bennett uses vivid colors and a bold graphic style to create engaging pieces that both delight and instruct.
The story of America’s national parks has long been told through the sensitive eyes of artists. The watercolors of Thomas Moran played an important role in convincing the U.S. Congress to set aside Yellowstone as the nation’s first national park in 1872. Artists continue to be inspired by national park landscapes and cultural and historic themes to create works that share their vision with the American public.
The Joshua Tree National Park Artist-in-Residence program is operated in partnership with the Riverside Art Museum. The program encourages artists to explore content related to Joshua Tree National Park and create a body of art that inspires interest in the park and builds better understanding and dialogue about our national parks, natural and cultural resources, the environment, and desert issues.The Joshua Tree Visitor Center is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Owned by the nonprofit Joshua Tree National Park Association, the visitor center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service to serve visitors to Joshua Tree National Park. Apart from the art exhibit, information and exhibits on Joshua Tree National Park are available, and park rangers and Association staff are on hand to assist the public and answer questions about visiting Joshua Tree National Park. Visitors can pick up federal recreation passes, books, and information about ranger programs and other visitor services available at the park.